• From dialectics to dancing: Reading, writing and the experience of the everyday life in the diaries of Frank P. Forster

      Feely, Catherine; University of Manchester (Oxford University Press, 2010-03)
      This article is an examination of the reading and writing practices of Frank Forster (1910-98), a casual labourer and Communist autodidact, as revealed in the diaries he kept between 1934 and 1938. One of the most influential texts Forster encountered during this period was The Positive Outcome of Philosophy, written by Joseph Dietzgen (1828-88), a German tanner who had also independently developed a Marxist philosophy of dialectical materialism. Dietzgen's work on the relationship between thought and experience appealed enormously to autodidact sensibilities. Recording his reading at the same time as other activities, such as cinema attendance and dancing, Forster was able to reshape Dietzgen's ideas so that he could apply them to the issues most immediately important to him, particularly the pursuit of social and sexual experience. This seemingly idiosyncratic understanding of ‘the dialectic’ can only be understood in the particular context of Forster's life, locality and time. His diaries deserve wider attention as compelling evidence of how one individual combined theory with everyday life to create his own form of ‘self-help’.
    • Karl Marx's Capital and transatlantic radical book-trade networks in the early twentieth century

      Feely, Catherine; University of Derby (Routledge, 2017)
      The book trade historically tended to operate in a spirit of co-operation as well as competition. Networks between printers, publishers, booksellers and related trades existed at local, regional, national and international levels and were a vital part of the business of books for several centuries. This collection of essays examines many aspects of the history of book-trade networks, in response to the recent ‘spatial turn’ in history and other disciplines. Contributors come from various backgrounds including history, sociology, business studies and English literature.
    • Only a "scrap of paper": The prison reading of British conscientious objectors, 1916-1919

      Feely, Catherine; University of Derby (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)