Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 August 2008
The ‘Labour and the Poor’ investigations of the Morning Chronicle newspaper, which charted social conditions in towns outside London in 1849–51, subjected Irish migrants in Britain to a hostile journalistic gaze. In the case of the iron-manufacturing town of Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales, the minority Irish ethnic identity was defined by observers in terms of exclusion from an emerging mass commodity culture and in opposition to the native working class. This early investigative journalism deployed some conventions of the contemporary novel that were familiar to its mainly middle-class readership to root social identities in material conditions.
1 See Swift, Roger, ‘Historians and the Irish: recent writings on the Irish in nineteenth-century Britain’, in MacRaild, Donald M. (ed.), The Great Famine and Beyond: Irish Migrants in Britain in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (Dublin, 2000), 1–39Google Scholar; MacRaild, Donald M., Irish Migrants in Modern Britain, 1750–1922 (London, 1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.
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5 This neglect is all the more surprising given the reprinting of selections of these non-metropolitan ‘letters’ in 1973 (see Razzell and Wainswright (eds.), The Victorian Working Class) and the texts relating to parts of the north of England, the midlands and Wales in the 1980s: Ginswick, Jules (ed.), Labour and the Poor in England and Wales, 1849–51, 3 vols. (London, 1983)Google Scholar.
6 MacRaild, ‘Irish immigration’, 79.
7 Turton, ‘Mayhew's Irish’, 155.
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9 Jones, Mid-Victorian Wales, 11. The competition for this designation in the mid-nineteenth century is strong. See Phillips, Thomas, Wales: The Language, Social Condition, Moral Character, and Religious Opinions of the People Considered in their Relation to Education (London, 1849)Google Scholar; Jones, Evan, Facts, Figures and Statements in Illustration of the Dissent and Morality of Wales (London, 1849)Google Scholar.
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11 See, for example, the rector's lecture in Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian, 29 Dec. 1849.
12 Cardiff and Merthyr Guardian, 1 Dec. 1849.
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15 Census of Population for England and Wales, 1851; Ursula Masson, ‘The development of the Irish and Roman Catholic communities of Merthyr Tydfil and Dowlais in the nineteenth century’ (University of Keele MA thesis, 1975).
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28 Ibid., 26.
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37 Ibid., 64–5.
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42 Ibid., 50.
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46 Kenrick, ‘The statistics of Merthyr Tydvil’, 14–21.
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48 Ibid., 68.
50 MacRaild, ‘Irish immigration’, 78–81.
51 Ginswick (ed.), Labour and the Poor, vol. I: Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire (London, 1983); idem (ed.), Labour and the Poor, vol. II.
52 Croll, Andy, ‘Writing the insanitary town: G.T. Clark, slums and sanitary reform’, in James, Brian Ll. (ed.), G.T. Clark: Scholar Ironmaster in the Victorian Age (Cardiff, 1998), 39Google Scholar.
53 O'Leary, ‘Networking respectability’.
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