Victorian Radicals and Italian Democrats

Victorian Radicals and Italian Democrats

Marcella Pellegrino Sutcliffe


Royal Historical Society



An examination of the links between radicalism in Victorian England, and the Risorgimento movement in Italy.
This book provides powerful new insights into the history of Italy's long Risorgimento, by tracing the entanglements of the Mazzinian "international". This informal group of men and women crossed the boundary of the Channel and the boundary of class to speak a common language and share a radical ideal: Giuseppe Mazzini's vision of a unified, republican Italy. Published in the radical press, the exile's writings on democracy, education, association and citizenship inspired both Oxford social reformers and self-improving artisans gathering in provincial reading rooms, co-operative societies, republican clubs and educational institutes: for them republican Italy became a transnational dream. Indeed, when Italy was unified under a constitutional monarch in 1861, British Mazzinians were bitterly disappointed. Setting off for Italy on their first "co-operative tour" in 1888, East London workers embarked on an educational pilgrimage, dotted with Mazzinian landmarks. Despite the fin de siècle crisis, Victorian radicals' enduring faith in Italy's democratic future remained steadfast. Indeed, when Fascists subsequently appropriated Mazzini's national dream, post-Victorian Mazzinians would unequivocally voice their support for Italian anti-Fascists, who championed the principles of global democracy. Drawing on a wide range of material, the author adds a crucial new dimension to the history of Victorian radicalism in Britain, and to the "new history of the Risorgimento".

Marcella Pellegrino Sutcliffe is a Research Fellow of Clare Hall, University of Cambridge.


May 2014
13 black and white illustrations
264 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series
ISBN: 9780861933228
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Royal Historical Society
BISAC HIS015000, HIS037060, HIS020000
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Table of Contents

Mazzini amongst Chartists and Early Co-operators, 1837-1848
'Joseph Mazzini': Learning and Living his Mission, 1849-1851
Victorian Mazzinians and Italian Democrats: Defections and Loyalties, 1850-1860
English Republicans, Liberal Italy and the Monarchical Turn, 1860-1872
Education, Democracy and International Policy: the Legacy of Exile, 1870-1882
'Co-operative Tours' as Transnational Education of Citizens, 1886-1890


A gripping story, well supported with scholarly, transnational research rooted in a galaxy of British and Italian sources. HISTORY OF EDUCATION

An extremely significant contribution to the expanding scholarship on the transnational dimension of the Italian Risorgimento, and to the history of political exile in the nineteenth century more generally. EUROPEAN HISTORY QUARTERLY

Writing and researching from a transnational perspective on the history of both British ideas about Mazzini and Mazzini's influence in Britain, Pellegrino Sutcliffe conveys to us the enormous value in engaging in the developing field of transnational history. H-ITALY

Has fascinating elements, and is to be welcomed for its wide ranging study of Mazzini's influence. CHARTIST

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