Gerrard Winstanley and the literature of revolution

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In his writings Winstanley plays down the importance of "writing" in favour of "digging": the former is a distraction, preventing men and women from meeting their true purpose, the return to Eden by union with the Godhead in the collective cultivation of the land. Yet the spoken, written and printed word was essential for the elaboration of Digger ideology, and Winstanley knew well the opportunities for written expression and printed circulation in his time, and exploited them with notable expertise. This essay explores Winstanley's skill and effectiveness as a writer - not only during the digging but before and after - and concludes that he did something quite remarkable, something achieved by no other contemporary, namely "digging" on the page as well as in the ground.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWinstanley and the Diggers, 1649-1999
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315810195
ISBN (Print)9780714651057
StatePublished - Dec 19 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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