“Democracy, the Idea of the 19th century,” is a great and most welcome fact. This idea has revealed itself at different times, and in different ways.”
In 1851 G.W.M. Reynolds launched a new series of ‘memoirs’ novels that told the story of poor women struggling to make their way in a heartless and alienating capitalist world.
The following pro-democracy poem was written by someone writing under the pseudonym of Tyrtaeus and was published in Reynolds’s Political Instructor on 19 January 1850.
The following poem, celebrating the life and deeds of Napoleon, was first written by Victor Hugo in the 1830s. It was later translated for the Monthly Magazine, probably by G.W.M. Reynolds, who had previously translated several of Hugo’s works.
The following poem was written by the radical poet Charles Cole and printed in A Poetical Address to his Grace the Duke of Wellington (1835).
‘Love of Country’, was written anonymously and printed in Reynolds’s Miscellany. It does not celebrate any one country in particular.
The following poem was written by someone known only as “E.L.E.” and published in the Monthly Magazine in February 1837. It has been transcribed by Stephen Basdeo.
Selfish, haughty and arrogant…and can merit nothing but the severest censure. All his actions, when closely scrutinized, fill us with the most unequivocal contempt.
Georg Herwegh’s ‘A Song of Hatred’ expresses contempt for the German ruling class and was translated by the Fenian activist James Clarence Mangan in 1849.
It was to me, strange and unaccountable as it may seem, as if I abhorred Neroweg by reason of the future as much as of the present; as if that hatred was to perpetuate itself not only between our two races of Franks and Gauls, but also between our families, individually.
This is a short story by Susannah Reynolds, printed in Reynolds’s Monthly Magazine, December 1838. The story has been transcribed by Jessica Elizabeth Thomas.
I rose cautiously from the bed…One look, and the blood chilled in my veins, and I could feel the hair rising upon my head!
‘My Heart is in the Battlefield’ was first written in November 1839 and has been newly-transcribed for Reynolds’s News! Subscribe now for more 19th century short texts!
The following poem, titled ‘Divinities of France’, was written by Victor Hugo in the 1830s and was later translated by George W.M. Reynolds (under the pseudonym of Parisianus) and published in the Monthly Magazine.
G.W.M. Reynolds launched a personal crusade against army brutality, speaking out against it in both his fiction and his journalism.
The following song was written in 1839 after the government’s rejection of the first Chartist petition. The tone of the poem is clear: the working classes need to fight on!
Victor Hugo’s poem about Napoleon’s death was originally published in G.W.M. Reynolds Monthly Magazine in 1838.
In the 1850s the United Kingdom became home to a number of European refugees who fled political persecution. Welcome to the Refugees celebrates the arrival of persecuted people on British shores.
She preferred grief to ignorance, death to slavery. She seized with a bold hand the guarded fruit, and moved the man to participate in her act of daring. The All-powerful chastised both, banished them.
The Capitalist was a socialist poem written in 1850 and printed in George Julian Harney’s Red Republican magazine. It tells of the coming day of vengeance by the working classes against the ruling class.
The following poem was written anonymously and published in Hugh Williams’s National Songs and Poetical Pieces (1839). Its sympathies are with the struggle for democracy and the emerging Chartist movement.
The World is like a Troubled Sea was written anonymously and originally appeared in the Pocket Magazine.
The following poem, ‘In a Young Lady’s Heart’, was written by Pierce Egan the Younger in 1843 and published in The Era.
His memory, unrelieved by one noble trait, one magnanimous action, or one pure sentiment, comes down to us in chronicles, lay and secular, as one violent and tyrannical. A perfidious friend, an encroaching neighbour, a heartless and ungenerous relation.