Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Two Book Launches at Housmans

On successive evenings next week, these interesting events:

‘Red Rosa: A Graphic Biography of Rosa Luxemburg’
with Kate Evans
Tuesday 1st December, 7pm

Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
A giant of the political left, Rosa Luxemburg is one of the foremost minds in the canon of revolutionary socialist thought. To Marx’s biographer Franz Mehring, no one came as close to the towering intellect of Marx himself.
But she was much more than just a thinker. She made herself heard in a world inimical to the voices of strong-willed women. She overcame physical infirmity and the prejudice she faced as a Jew to become an active revolutionary whose philosophy enriched every corner of an incredibly productive and creative life – her many friendships, her sexual intimacies, and her love of science, nature and art.
Always opposed to the First World War, when others on the German left were swept up on a tide of nationalism, she was imprisoned and murdered in 1919 fighting for a revolution she knew to be doomed.
Red Rosa gives Luxemburg her due as a radical and human being. In this beautifully drawn work of graphic biography, writer and artist Kate Evans has opened up her subject’s intellectual world to a new audience, grounding Luxemburg’s ideas in the realities of an inspirational and deeply affecting life.
Paperback, 224 pages
ISBN: 9781784780999

'Render the Chartists Defenceless' with Les James
Wednesday 2nd December, 7pm
Entry £3, redeemable against any purchase
Newport publishers Three Impostors announce the release of a new book revealing an explosive new twist in the story of the Newport Rising which was the last large-scale armed rebellion against authority in Great Britain when, on the 4th November 1839, somewhere between 1,000 and 5,000 Chartist sympathisers, led by John Frost, marched on the town of Newport, Monmouthshire.
Newport–born Hollywood actor Michael Sheen introduces the book, in which historian Les James describes the previously untold story of the voyage of Frost, Zephaniah Williams and William Jones to Van Diemen’s Land in 1840, to start their sentence of transportation for life for treason.*
Lulled at first by the kindness of those in authority on board the convict ship Mandarin, the prisoners gradually became aware of the web of intrigue and surveillance around them, and suspicious of the possibility of government spies watching their every move. Were these suspicions correct?
Les James is a former Museum Education Officer for Gwent, and Senior Lecturer at the University of Wales, Newport, with a long-standing research interest in south Wales Chartism. 

Three Impostors is a small publisher established in Newport in 2012 with the aim of producing high quality, scholarly versions of rare and out-of-print books, along with other related new writing. Their first book was a commemorative edition of 'Far Off Things' by Arthur Machen, published in 2013 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his death.

*[RaHN note] Data newly available from the Digital Panopticon project (more on this to follow):
Transportation Register  24th February 1840
 John Frost  colony Van Diemen's Land  term 21 years  ship Mandarin
tried Monmouth Special Gaol Delivery  register text - 
"Convicted at Monmouth Special Gaol Delivery for a term of life."

Founders & Survivors  30th June 1840  John Frost age 55  b 1785  height 67  term 99 years
tried Special Gaol Delivery  trial date 10th December 1839  vdl departure date 25th February 1840
vdl arrival date 30th June 1840  ship vdl Mandarin  place of birth "Newport"
offence report "High Treason"  gaol report - 
"Convicted and imprisoned before for a Libel, otherwise his Character very good"
hulk report "Good"

Founders & Survivors   30th June 1840  Zephaniah Williams  age 44  b 1796  height 67
term 99 years  tried Special Gaol Delivery  trial date 10th December 1839
vdl departure date 25th February 1840  vdl arrival date 30th June 1840
ship vdl Mandarin  offence report "High Treason"  gaol report - 
"very good previous to this affair and former Mutiny"  hulk report "Good"

Transportation Register   24th February 1840  Zephaniah Williams  colony Van Diemen's Land
term 21 years  ship Mandarin  tried Monmouth Special Gaol Delivery
register text - "Convicted at Monmouth Special Gaol Delivery for a term of life."

(William Jones is more difficult to locate/identify in these records).

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