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Last updated:16 April 2015

Gammage's History of the Chartist Movement

December's object is the 'History of the Chartist Movement' by R. G. Gammage.

Maxine Peake, actress and friend of the Library, read a passage from ‘Born with a book in his hand' about Ruth and Eddie's search for Gammage, at a recent event for volunteers.

ruth and eddie frow

Ruth and Eddie Frow talk about Gammage:

" As we brought more and more books, we found that we needed still 

more... One or two books assumed the importance of the Holy Grail in our lives... One of these was Gammage's History of the Chartist Movement. Over the years we perfected the technique of going into a bookshop, one of us engaging the bookseller in idle conversation using the question, "Have you a copy of Gammage?", as an opening ploy, while the other scanned the shelves at leisure and without interruption. After a time, the question became academic and we knew we would never achieve the happiness of owning a Gammage. But one day in Steedman's in Grey Street, Newcastle, one of us was up a ladder while the other worked the lower shelves. Suddenly there was a strangled cry and the ladder shook. White and shaken, we both checked the top shelf and there, for a reasonable sum, was a copy of Gammage. We paid our money and went for a coffee to restore our frayed nerves. But a dimension had gone for our lives. It's not the kill, but the chase that is most fun."

December 2009

Other resources on our website

Click here to go to the Chartist Movement page

Click here to find out about the chartist leader, Ernest Jones

Click here to find out about the chartist William Cuffay

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