Sunday 2:15pm

We are many, they are few: Shelley and the Peterloo massacre

Art and literature

Rise like lions after slumber in unvanquishable number/ Shake your chains to earth like dew’. With these brilliant lines, the revolutionary poet Percy Shelley expressed the rage of millions at the Peterloo massacre in 1819, a watershed moment in the creation of a militant movement for freedoms that shaped the British working class movement. This session will explore the events of Peterloo, the wonderful poem ‘The Mask of Anarchy’, penned in fury on receipt of the news of the slaughter, and attempt to rescue Shelley from his own reputation!

Maxine Peake recites Shelley’s poem -** Mask of Anarchy******

John Mullan - Anarchy in Peterloo: Shelley’s poem unmasked****

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