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Conclusion

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 August 2014

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Summary

‘But is there not a voice, not yet completely silenced in Italy, that bids us hope for better things – a voice that calls to us from a forsaken tomb on the slopes of Staglieno?’

The ‘popular Risorgimento’ in transnational perspective

In focusing on the ‘long connection’ between Victorian radicals and Risorgimento democrats this book has questioned established historical views on the relationship between the ‘English’ and Italy, showing the limits of the ‘official history’ and adding a transnational dimension to the ‘popular Risorgimento’ narrative. By taking into account the views of Victorian republicans on Italy's constitutional monarchy the ‘myth’ that all the ‘English’ were satisfied with Cavour's pincer movement and the victory of the moderates has been challenged. In other ways too this study has unscrambled the traditional narrative, questioning how representative of the nation's ‘people’ were the ‘English’ analysed by the dominant Risorgimento historiography. Socially, this book has shifted the perspective from the educated classes to the adult education movement; chronologically, it has pushed the boundaries of conventional periodisation beyond the revolutionary phase of the Risorgimento by including the nation-building years; geographically it has highlighted the role played by the English ‘peripheries’ rather than the decision-makers in Whitehall, setting off from the northern industrial provinces and terminating in London's East End.

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Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Print publication year: 2014

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