Alexander Somerville (1811–85) fits well James Epstein’s definition of an intellectual as “predominantly functional as someone who assumes the role of persuader, consciously producing or conveying ideas to a public.” This chapter examines Somerville’s identities across autobiography, journalism, and political economy to explore ways in which he shaped a complex, mixed-class identity, full of divided loyalties. His virtual walks turned workers’ long treks between work and home into an ownership of Britain through political economy, an ownership by the unpropertied workers he encouraged to travel and to explore the wider world. Somerville’s writings participated in an emerging and increasingly vocal working-class public presence and readership. As a journalist, he served as an effective spokesperson for laborers and honed his views. Somerville’s radical views were tempered by identifications with the work ethic and family life; his family was rural, “progressive, ” close, and supportive.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||The Working-Class Intellectual in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Britain|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||24|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2016|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities(all)