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Dorothy Thompson (historian)

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Name  Dorothy Thompson
Children  Kate Thompson
Spouse  E. P. Thompson (m. 1948)
Role  Historian

Dorothy Thompson (historian) wwwandrewwhiteheadnetuploads3505350564764
Died  January 29, 2011, Worcester, United Kingdom
Books  The Dignity of Chartism, The Chartists, Queen Victoria: Gender a, Outsiders, Dorothy Thompson's Political
Similar People  E P Thompson, Kate Thompson, Frank Thompson

Education  Girton College, Cambridge

Dorothy thompson interview june 1941 1941

Dorothy Katharine Gane Thompson (née Towers) (30 October 1923 – 29 January 2011) was a social historian, a leading expert on the Chartist movement.


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Born in Greenwich, south-east London, Thompson entered Girton College, Cambridge, in 1942. During the war, her work as an industrial draughtswoman for Royal Dutch Shell interrupted her formal education. Nonetheless, she continued to pursue a career in history and was politically active. She joined the Young Communists, married the historian Edward Thompson in 1948, and moved to Halifax, where Edward worked in adult education and they were both active in the peace movement. They had three children. Kate Thompson, the award-winning children's writer, is their youngest child.

In 1970 Thompson was appointed a lecturer in the School of History at the University of Birmingham, where she remained until 1988. She also was also a visiting scholar on a number of occasions at universities in the U.S.A., as well as in Canada, China and Japan. The Early Chartists (1971) was a groundbreaking collection of documents. The Chartists (1984) set out all the ways in which Thompson sought to revise how Chartism was seen - from the Irish leaders to the vital contribution of women. In January 1995 Thompson was presented with a festschrift, The Duty of Discontent. Edited by Owen Ashton, Stephen Roberts (both her former students) and Robert Fyson, the volume consists of 12 essays spanning the whole range of nineteenth- and twentieth-century British social history. The importance of Thompson's writings on Chartism and Irish and women's history is recognised by scholars internationally. Her work, like that of her husband, was always been informed by a passionate radicalism and a deep sympathy for the underdog.

Thompson's position as the most influential historian of Chartism has been re-inforced by two volumes of essays:'Outsiders' (1993) and 'The Dignity of Chartism' (2015).

She was a leading member of the Communist Party Historians Group.

Selected articles/works

  • 'The Early Chartists' (1971)
  • 'Bibliography of the Chartist Movement, 1837-1976' (edited with J. F. C. Harrison) (1978)
  • 'The Chartist Experience : Studies in Working-class Radicalism and Culture, 1830-60' (edited with James Epstein) (1982)
  • 'Over Our Dead Bodies : Women against the Bomb' (editor) (1983)
  • 'The Chartists : Popular Politics in the Industrial Revolution' (1984); ('reprinted Breviary Stuff Publications, 2013)
  • 'Images of Chartism' (1998) (edited with Stephen Roberts)
  • 'Chartism in Wales and Ireland' (1987)
  • 'British Women in the Nineteenth Century' (1989)
  • 'Queen Victoria: Gender and Power' (1990)
  • 'Outsiders : Class, Gender and Nation' (1993)
  • 'Images of Chartism' (edited with Stephen Roberts) (1998).
  • ' Selected Poems by Frank Thompson, edited by Dorothy Thompson and Kate Thompson (2003)
  • 'The Dignity of Chartism: Essays by Dorothy Thompson.'(edited by Stephen Roberts) (2015).
  • References

    Dorothy Thompson (historian) Wikipedia