More _Metzerott_ madness…

I still haven’t finished the novel (I read slowly), but there are a couple things I have to report.

  • it appears to have been fairly widely read (from contemporary periodical references)
  • it is definitely a Christian socialist novel, and could be (it’s just speculation right now) in the same tradition as Charles Kingsley’s mid-century Alton Locke, Tailor and Poet.  Thanks to my CofC colleague,  Tim Carens, for hipping me to this.  Apparently, the plight of tailors was a locus for discussion of social reform in England, which makes  sense as mechanization of the clothesmaking process would speak to all sorts of concerns about labor. There are similar concerns with shoemaking.
  • the novel comes out against violence as a means of overturning the prevailing capitalist order. I have gotten this from contemporary reviews (which don’t mind spoiling the plot). I’ll be looking to see if violence is associated with new immigrants, but it’s fairly clear from what I’ve read that it is associated with atheist versus Christian forms of socialism.

But I really need to get back to the shoe project, so I may be leaving this thread alone for just a bit.

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