Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-dc8c957cd-s7h52 Total loading time: 0.302 Render date: 2022-01-28T12:59:51.965Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

8 - The road to George Hill: the heretical dynamic of Winstanley's early prose

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 February 2010

Thomas N. Corns
Affiliation:
Professor of English and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Wales, Bangor
David Loewenstein
Affiliation:
University of Wisconsin, Madison
John Marshall
Affiliation:
The Johns Hopkins University
Get access

Summary

Early one morning during the conference held to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Digger experiment, I went with two friends and colleagues, with whom I have long shared an enthusiasm for the radical prose of the mid-seventeenth century, to St. George's Hill, where Gerrard Winstanley and his comrades had sought to work together the common land, thus living off the common treasury of the earth. We would have wished to visit the site anyway, though a recent event lent the expedition a surprising frisson: radical activists of uncertain political affiliation had made a covert incursion into the area and had established a self-proclaimed Digger camp on land owned by a public utility company. On that cool, bright dawn we drove to a remarkably prosperous housing complex, reputedly the home to minor expatriate royalty and popular entertainers, and I encountered for the first time in England a walled and gated estate patrolled by security guards, who barred our way.

To my mild surprise, the guards let us through – we told them we were tourists, which, in a sense, was true – and we found the camp near the crest of the hill on a patch of muddy scrubland about the size of a tennis court. Those protesters who were awake made us welcome, and, after a brief explanation of our interests in Winstanley, we looked round the camp, noting the lines of symbolically planted flowers and vegetables adjacent to the sleeping heads of the “Diggers,” admiring the elegant and rather weighty memorial stone that had been smuggled onto the site, and, somewhat incongruously perhaps, signing a visitors' book.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×