Eliza Cook (1812? or 1818?–1889) was an immensely popular working-class, self-educated poet and journalist. Her sentimental, though often satirical, poems dealt with ordinary working people, often depicted in their everyday lives. She also published Eliza Cook’s Journal(1849–1854), a successful but short-lived popular magazine of social progress, aimed at working- and lower middle-class readers. Her poetry and her journal focused on the same social issues and democratic ideals: she advocated with compassion the cause of the marginalized and vulnerable and supported moral and social elevation made possible once progressive reforms had been undertaken. She championed various improvements for the poor such as public libraries, mechanics’ institutes, outdoor recreations for the workers, emigration, educational reform, and employment opportunities for women. But, while her poems and articles addressed issues from a progressive and often feminist perspective, they also extolled...
KeywordsPoetry Chartism Magazines of popular progress Social reform Social injustice Eliza Cook’s Journal
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