A VOICE FROM THE TOWN (1842) / John Bolton Rogerson
by John Bolton Rogerson
Publication date: February 2019
Horizontally scrolling on the british library archive is a list of 3667 faces that between 1790 to 1990s applied for loan 96 from the royal literary fund. Most were refused, including john bolton rogerson, on 12 november 1857.
“I take this opportunity of expressing my obligations to my Printers, for the care and attention which they have bestowed on the work in its progress through the Press, and for the tasteful style in which the volume has been executed.
to those friends who have cheered me, not with
lip-service only, i tender my brief, but not the less warm and sincere thanks.”
(Hulme, Manchester, May, 1842)
The printers, that was located on brown street in Manchester (the building has now been demolished and been replaced by a post-post-post modern “very useful” office block). so our imagination is entirely necessary when re-imagining John Bolton Rogerson’s struggles and victories as a writer who was — I’m going to refrain from the term “working-class”, even though he was, the term restricts our viewpoint of his life and ability as a writer. We must not give him respect just because he was working-class, but because he was a writer that was able to give an ever-lasting portrayal of the emotions of the time. His ability to publish his work even though it was refused has always inspired me, not only as someone who writes and creates things, but also as a friend - he was able to publish because he had a community of people who believed in him - this all began at the sun inn on long millgate, which became a literature spot for many writers of the time. When we read engel’s simplistic survey on the conditions of the working class, it is hard to believe that long millgate was not only a two-dimensional image of winding alleys and dis-used, falling down houses, but also, behind those walls of broken glass, were great artistic minds, minds that saw through the opaque fatigue of industrial england and expressed their thoughts.
We have this book, not because an institution validated his idea and said “ok you can do it” but because he decided it was important and he wanted to do it. This collection of writing represents the failures of the cultural institution and the significance of the independent mind. In this light, it was an important and symbolic piece of literature to publish, underpinning my own personal values about running a small publishing press and supporting writers and artists through their process of adding something personal to this backward thinking, media controlled society we live in today.
- Original 1842 preface by John Bolton Rogerson
- New preface by Lucy Wilkinson
- "A Voice From The Town" by John Bolton Rogerson
- "roses that" by d.a. levy
- Photography by Lucy Wilkinson
54 pages printed on recycled paper
13cm x 21cm x 4mm
includes 5 colour plates
designed and hand bound by lucy j wilkinson