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Liberty's DawnA People's History of the Industrial Revolution$
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Emma Griffin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300151800

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300151800.001.0001

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Introduction: ‘A Simple Naritive’

Introduction: ‘A Simple Naritive’

(p.1) Chapter One Introduction: ‘A Simple Naritive’
Liberty's Dawn

Emma Griffin

Yale University Press

At the height of the industrial revolution in Britain, a growing number of ordinary working people began writing down their memories, bequeathing a remarkable collection of historical sources that tell evocative tales of everyday life during one of the most memorable transitions in world history. One of those autobiographies belonged to John Lincoln, who wrote his memoirs (which he called his “simple Naritive”) when he was almost sixty years old. This book tells the story of working people who strived to attain new levels of wealth, freedom, and autonomy during the industrial revolution. It examines the impact of the industrial revolution on ordinary men, women, and children who worked the machines, hewed coal for the steam engines, and built and drove the trains. In presenting an alternative account of labor and the industrial revolution, the book shows how the industrial revolution degraded and exploited workers.

Keywords:   industrial revolution, Britain, memoirs, working people, labor, John Lincoln, wealth, freedom, autonomy, autobiographies

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