Online talk by Kirstie Blair, ‘Prating of the Pit: Northern Miners as Writers and Readers in the Long 19th Century’

  • DATE

    24 November 2021

  • TIME

    2:00 pm to 3:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome



Sorry but our original speaker for this date, Deaglán Ó Donghaile, has had to postpone his talk on Oscar Wilde due to illness. We wish him a good recovery, and look forward to him coming to speak to us on this topic in 2022.

We are delighted to welcome instead Kirstie Blair from the University of Strathclyde. Her live-streamed talk will introduce some of the findings of the ‘Piston, Pen & Press’ project, which has been tracing industrial workers’ writings, and their involvement with local reading rooms, libraries and associations, across the North of England and Scotland from the 1840s to the 1910s. Using examples from archives in Leigh, Northumberland and elsewhere, it will discuss the kinds of literature that miners wrote and read, the ways in which they discussed their work, and the use of ‘literary’ forms like broadsides in union activity, strikes and disputes. This talk runs alongside our new guest exhibition from Piston Pen & Press, Literature in the Mines.

Kirstie Blair currently leads the Scottish Centre for Victorian and Neo-Victorian Studies and is the Head of the School of Humanities at Strathclyde.

This talk will run alongside our new guest exhibition, ‘Literature in the Mines’.

The talk will run online only, and a link to it will be provided on the day via