British Industrial Fictions represents the contexts, aspirations and dramas experienced by the people who worked in industry in Britain for two hundred years. This fictional material was usually produced in conscious resistance to the dominant culture of the day, sometimes by middle-class sympathisers, but often by workers themselves who found time, somehow, to write about their stark experiences. Some of the essays in this collection discuss little-known aspects of industrial fiction, such as the early fiction about seamstresses, industrial writing by women authors, the largely unknown representations of ship-builders, nineteenth-century nail-workers and late twentieth century unemployed. Others essays reconsider well known major authors and periods such as Robert Tressell, James Hanley, Alan Sillitoe, Lewis Jones, the literature of the 1926 strike and some essays look at structural features of industrial writing such as the relation between fiction and industrial accidents in the nineteenth century, the literary patterns of thirties writing, and the ways in which particular areas have been represented and not represented through industrial writing. The authors are all researchers in industrial fiction and include some major names in the field - H. Gustav Klaus, Andy Croft, Ian Haywood, James A. Davies and Rolf Meyn are established writers on this topic, while other contributors are either well known critics turning here to this field - Valentine Cunningham, Stephen Knight, Ian Bell, Gary Day, Simon Dentith, Ingrid von Rosenburg - or newer names with new insights to contribute - Kathleen Bell, Mike Sanders and John Fordham.
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