Resist: Stories of Uprising

Edited by Ra Page

Please note: this is the hardback edition.

Available to pre-order now!

At a time that feels unprecedented in British politics – with unlawful prorogations of parliament, casual race-baiting by senior politicians, and a climate crisis that continues to be ignored – it’s easy to think these are uncharted waters for us, as a democracy.

But Britain has seen political crises and far-right extremism before, just as it has witnessed regressive, heavy-handed governments. Much worse has been done, or allowed to be done, in the name of the people and eventually, those same people have called it out, stood up, resisted.

In this new collection of fictions and essays, spanning two millennia of British protest, authors, historians and activists re-imagine twenty acts of defiance: campaigns to change unjust laws, protests against unlawful acts, uprisings successful and unsuccessful – from Boudica to Blair Peach, from the Battle of Cable Street to the tragedy of Grenfell Tower. Britain might not be famous for its revolutionary spirit, but its people know when to draw the line, and say very clearly, ‘¡No pasarán!’

Bidisha with Prof Richard Hingley on BOUDICA's RISING, 60 AD
SJ Bradley with Prof John Walter on the OXFORDSHIRE RISING, 1596
Martin Edwards with Prof Robert Poole on PETERLOO, 1819
Kamila Shamsie with Prof Malcolm Chase on the CATO STREET CONSPIRACY, 1820
Anna Lewis with Dr Richard C. Allen on MERTHYR RISING, 1831
Kim Squirrell with Dr Marcus Morris on the TOLPUDDLE MARTYRS, 1834 
Eley Williams with Rhian E. Jones on the REBECCA RIOTS, 1839
Lucy Caldwell with Dr Ben Griffin on CAROLINE NORTON, 1839
Uschi Gatward with Dave Steele on the GREAT CHARTIST MEETING, 1848
Jude Brown with Dr Mark O'Brien on the LIVERPOOL TRANSPORT STRIKE, 1911
Donny O'Rourke with Dr Jim Philips on the BATTLE OF GEORGE SQUARE, 1919 
Steve Chambers with David Rosenberg on the BATTLE OF CABLE STREET, 1936 
Karline Smith with Dr Kenny Monrose on the NOTTING HILL RIOTS, 1958
Luan Goldie with Dr Jonathan Moss on the FORD DAGENHAM WOMEN'S STRIKE, 1968
Irfan Master with David Renton on BLAIR PEACH, 1979 
Lucas Stewart with Mike Carden on the LIVERPOOL DOCKERS DISPUTE, 1995
Gaia Holmes with Dr Chris Cocking on the NEWBURY BYPASS PROTEST, 1996
Zoe Lambert with Jo Blackman on SEEDS OF HOPE, 1996
Nikita Lalwani with Dr Roger Ball on the TOTTENHAM RIOT, 2011
Julia Bell with Daniel Renwick on GRENFELL, 2017

This project has been supported by the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust and the Lipman-Miliband Trust, as well as Arts Council England.

Part of Comma's 'History-into-Fiction' series. 

Events taking place at Northern Short Story mini-fest (Leeds), Nottingham Radical BookfairWriteidea Festival (London) & Books on Tyne Festival (Newcastle).


One of The Guardian Bookshop's 'Ones to Watch' September 2019 - shop HERE!

One of '30 books for autumn 2019' at iNews.

'It's historic and new, it reflects while questioning the current day, it offers a fictional exploration and a grounded real world context.' - The Skinny

Read Eley Williams' story on the Rebecca Riots, featured in The Times Literary Supplement.

Read an interview with Nikita Lalwani, Luan Goldie and SJ Bradley at The State of the Arts.

Read about Karline Smith's story "The Whistling Bird" in The Voice.

Watch the preview event at Hay Festival 2019 on Hay Player, featuring Eley Williams, Bidisha and Zoe Lambert. (£)

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Book Details

3 Oct 2019