Book news/mini-reviews [March 2018]

Philip Ruff’s A Towering Flame : The Life & Times of ‘Peter the Painter’ is out now in English (from Dienas Grāmata who published the Latvian edition). 350 pages plus photo section. See and

The Red Flag of Anarchy: A History of Socialism & Anarchism in Sheffield 1874-1900 by Andy Lee

A wonderful account of Sheffield’s radical history (and of digging it out: go to research in Amsterdam and they want your anti-poll tax T-shirt for the collection!)  David Nicoll features, as you’d expect. Hear him lament his inability to learn Yorkshire: ‘And when I try to talk the language of the country, when I say, “reet owd lad. How’s owd lass”, they laugh at me as if I was a Frenchman trying to talk English and say “Get out you blooming Cockney”’ [p157]. If nineteenth century anarchists seem so far away with their bicycle outings and singing revolutionary songs, does this not ring a bell? ‘We then proceeded to the station and liberally posted it with little notices, such as “Anarchy no Master”, “Revolution not Reform”, “Read Commonweal”.’ [p141, in 1893] Get a copy!

Anarchists, Syndicalists, and the First World War by Vadim V. Damier, translated by Malcolm Archibald is out now from Black Cat Press. ISBN 9781926878171

The Enigma of Hugh Holmes Gore: Bristol’s Nineteenth Century Christian Socialist Solicitor Mike Richardson’s full biography of this complex figure solves his disappearance (quite a feat, both the disappearance and the solving). It also looks at his defence work for the Walsall Anarchists. Bristol Radical History Group ISBN 9781911522010