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The Making of the English Working Class

Angela Topping is a writer and poet who teaches English by day. Books and music are her mainstays in life. Her latest poetry collection is 'The Way We Came' published by bluechrome. She also writes critical books for Greenwich Exchange.


The Making of the English Working Class by E.P.Thompson opened my eyes to the hidden history - not of kings and queens but of everyday people who risked their lives to free themselves from oppression and gain the vote. It made me prouder than ever to be working class. It's inspired poems - not just in me. I read it because I was researching Tony Harrison's 'School of Eloquence' sequence so I wanted to learn about The London Corresponding Society and the Poor Man's Guardian. Everyone should read this book - its narrative is as gripping as any novel - but it is all true!

  • Read Wiki's excellent summary of this important book here.
  • You can find out more about Thompson here.
  • If you like Thompson, you will love Eric Hobsbawm.
  • Learn more about Marxist history here.
  • Buy a new copy of the book here.
  • Or a lovely, well read copy here.

This video will either be your thing or not. Mix and match I say:


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David O'Connor Thompson

I, too, have read The Making of the English Working Class, and it is, indeed, fascinating. But to claim it is all 'true' is a claim too far.

Thompson was a Marxist, so it is an interpretation of history through those spectacles. And all history is an interpretation. Dates of events are 'true', little else.

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