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Chapter 7 Welsh Women's Industrial Fiction 1880-1910 (Book chapter)

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Book Series: Historical Women's Writing ISBN: 9780367353483 9780429330865 Year: Pages: 18 DOI: 10.1080/09699082.2016.1268346 Language: English
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2019-11-13 11:21:04
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Abstract

From the beginning of the genre, women writers have made a major contribution to the development of industrial writing. Although prevented from gaining first-hand experience of the coalface, Welsh women writers were amongst the first to try to fictionalize those heavy industries—coal and metal in the south, and slate in the north—which dominated the lives of the majority of the late nineteenth-century Welsh population. Treatment of industrial matter is generally fragmentary in this early women’s writing; industrial imagery and metaphor may be used in novels that are not primarily “about” industry at all. Yet from c. 1880–1910, Welsh women writers made a significant—and hitherto critically neglected—attempt to make sense in literature of contemporary industrial Wales in powerful and innovative ways. This essay maps their contribution and considers anglophone Welsh women writers’ adaptations and innovations of form (particularly romance) as they try to find a way of representing industrial landscapes, communities and the daily realities of industrial labour. It identifies the genesis in women’s writing of tropes that would become central to later industrial fiction, including depictions of industrial accident, injury, death and disability. And it explores the representation of social relations (class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality) and conflict on this tumultuous, dangerous new stage.

Keywords

1914 --- Aaron --- before --- Jane --- Wales --- Women's --- Writing

Disability in industrial Britain:

Authors: --- --- ---
ISBN: 9781526124326 9781526124319 Year: Pages: 288 Language: English
Publisher: Manchester University Press Grant: Wellcome Trust - 095948/Z/11/Z
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Social Sciences --- History
Added to DOAB on : 2020-01-08 11:21:03
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Coalmining was a notoriously dangerous industry and many of its workers experienced injury and disease. However, the experiences of the many disabled people within Britain’s most dangerous industry have gone largely unrecognised by historians. This book examines the British coal industry through the lens of disability, using an interdisciplinary approach to examine the lives of disabled miners and their families.
The book considers the coal industry at a time when it was one of Britain’s most important industries, and follows it through a period of growth up to the First World War, through strikes, depression and wartime, and into an era of decline. During this time, the statutory provision for disabled people changed considerably, most notably with the first programme of state compensation for workplace injury. And yet disabled people remained a constant presence in the industry as many disabled miners continued their jobs or took up ‘light work’. The burgeoning coalfields literature used images of disability on a frequent basis and disabled characters were used to represent the human toll of the industry.
A diverse range of sources are used to examine the economic, social, political and cultural impact of disability in the coal industry, looking beyond formal coal company and union records to include autobiographies, novels and oral testimony. It argues that, far from being excluded entirely from British industry, disability and disabled people were central to its development. The book will appeal to students and academics interested in disability history, disability studies, social and cultural history, and representations of disability in literature.

Keywords

Injury --- Impairment --- Disability --- Coal industry

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