It has been quite a while since Matthew Roberts gave his excellent talk on Nottinghamshire Luddism at the Sparrows’ Nest, drawing in the biggest crowd we ever had at an indoor event (thanks again to the Nottingham Women’s History Group for the promotion!).
Originally working on Chartism, Roberts got into this subject after realising that it is impossible to work in much detail on the Framework Knitters’ trade during the 1830s and 40s without looking into its earlier history, a very important chapter of which is of course the direct action in the 1810s which became later known as Luddism.
In this talk, Roberts gives an overview of classic interpretations of Luddism, but criticises these as often debating events of the day in the light of later developments. Instead, he interprets the specific character of Luddite direct action as deeply embedded in rural culture.
Thanks again for everyone who came and of course especially thanks to our speaker!
You can now watch and listen to an edited recording of the talk in four parts on our Youtube channel.
For loads of fabulous sources etc. please see the Luddite Bicentenary website.