A new and exciting acquisition - a bound volume of one of the most important of Chartist periodicals, the Chartist Circular, an unstamped paper published in Glasgow from 1839 to 1842. The volume is almost complete - just a handful of the later issues are missing.
And particularly wonderful, this volume was given to the Chartist leader George Julian Harney in Glasgow in 1846.
John Colquhoun, who presented the volume to Harney, is mentioned in its pages - attending a Scottish Chartist Convention in early 1842. He was a figure of some consequence in Scottish Chartism.
On the title page, there's Harney's ownership signature - such a wonderful association copy. Harney was one of the more left-wing of Chartist leaders and became a socialist and an internationalist. He lived until the closing years of the century.
The periodical is a reminder of how well organised and politically developed the Chartist movement was in its heyday. All the six points of the People's Charter were eventually enacted, excepted the demand for annual Parliaments - though the universal suffrage the Chartists advocated did not extend to women.
The Chartists were keen and effective propagandists and made good use of the press. The first issue of the Chartist Circular, priced at a halfpenny, sold 20,000 copies. The most renowned of Chartist papers, the Northern Star published in Leeds, was much more expensive - because as a newspaper (rather than a journal) it had to pay the stamp tax designed to restrict the readership and impact of the radical press.
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