Peterloo, Shelley and the development of British democracy.

A vivid portrayal of the Peterloo Massacre  and Shelley’s response to it in Shelley specialist and songwriter John Webster’s new DVD ‘Shelley’s Golden Years in Italy’, together with a discussion of the poet’s legacy and role in the growth of democratic institutions in GB, could make an intriguing and memorable contribution to Key Stage 3 of Citizenship studies.

The two sections, opening and concluding the 43 minute DVD, demonstrate the progress made from the tragic collision of social and political forces in 1819, referring to the Chartists and the Suffragettes and the strength they drew from Shelley’s work.

Shelley’s contribution to the development of democracy in Britain has been demonstrated by scholars in recent years,and this raises the question of how far poets, writers, and musicians can affect political events.An intriguing question in light of the frequent involvement of today’s artists in political and environmental campaigning!

More information is available at where song and narrative samples, as well as links to a discussion of the citizenship issues raised, can be accessed. The DVD costs £12.95 plus £1.95 postage


To John Webster, 57A Old Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7JZ

 Phone/Fax 01865 765436  Email:

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