By Rhian E. Jones
The wave of unrest which happened in 1840s Wales, often called ‘Rebeccaism’ or ‘the Rebecca riots’, sticks out as successful tale in the typically gloomy annals of well known fight and defeat.
The tale is remembered in vibrant and compelling pictures: assaults on tollgates and different symbols of perceived injustice via farmers and employees, outlandishly wearing bonnets and petticoats and led by means of the long-lasting nameless determine of Rebecca herself. The occasions shape a middle a part of historic research and remembrance in Wales, and regularly seem in broader paintings on British radicalism and Victorian protest events.
This publication attracts on cultural heritage, gender reviews and symbolic anthropology to give clean and replacement arguments at the which means of Rebeccaite dress and formality; the importance of the female in protest; the hyperlinks among protest and pop culture; using Rebecca’s photo in Victorian press and political discourse; and the ways that the occasions and a twin of Rebecca herself have been built-in into politics, tradition and well known reminiscence in Wales and past. a majority of these facets pay off better attention than they've got but been accorded, and spotlight the relevance of Rebeccaism to British and eu well known protest – as much as and together with the current day.
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The wave of unrest which came about in 1840s Wales, referred to as ‘Rebeccaism’ or ‘the Rebecca riots’, stands proud as a hit tale in the normally gloomy annals of renowned fight and defeat.
The tale is remembered in vibrant and compelling photographs: assaults on tollgates and different symbols of perceived injustice by means of farmers and employees, outlandishly wearing bonnets and petticoats and led by way of the enduring nameless determine of Rebecca herself. The occasions shape a middle a part of historic research and remembrance in Wales, and regularly seem in broader paintings on British radicalism and Victorian protest events.
This publication attracts on cultural background, gender experiences and symbolic anthropology to offer clean and substitute arguments at the that means of Rebeccaite dress and formality; the importance of the female in protest; the hyperlinks among protest and pop culture; using Rebecca’s picture in Victorian press and political discourse; and the ways that the occasions and a twin of Rebecca herself have been built-in into politics, tradition and renowned reminiscence in Wales and past. some of these features pay off larger attention than they've got but been accorded, and spotlight the relevance of Rebeccaism to British and eu renowned protest – as much as and together with the current day.
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Extra info for Petticoat Heroes: Rethinking the Rebecca Riots
26 Rebeccaite ritual cross-dressing, although invariably mentioned as an integral part of the movement, has received little sustained analysis beyond its implicit resemblance to the ceffyl pren and the speculation that it functioned as a method of disguise or as deference to the domestic jurisdiction of women. 27 Outside the study of protest, more historiographical attention has been given to the phenomenon of female cross-dressing, whether for the purpose of gaining entry to an otherwise inaccessible lifestyle or career, or in theatrical or literary contexts, than to 37 Petticoat Heroes its male equivalent.
Previous study of these aspects has been hindered by the difficulty of discerning a coherent or logical basis to the use of symbol and ritual in protest, and a related lack of analytical techniques through which to explore it. Symbol and ritual have also been of largely incidental concern to labour historians, most of whom have understandably prioritised the structural and ideological issues involved in the pursuance of political objectives and the degree of success in accomplishing them. The theatrical and performative aspects of Rebeccaism have therefore been noted without attracting further analysis.
Rebecca’s partners in protest and resistance While the above narrative summarises the best-known stage of Rebeccaism, it remains reliant on a narrow definition of the movement as confined to Carmarthenshire and to the custodianship of tenant farmers. Tobit Evans and Williams take 1843–4 to be the end of Rebeccaism proper, as defined as the ‘respectable’ social and economic protest of tenant farmers. 54 What may be termed the classic stage of Rebeccaism in Carmarthenshire and environs had indeed begun to dissipate by the time the Commissioners of Inquiry arrived, allowing the government to present its report and subsequent legislation as having resolved the matter.