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Episode 22 - Peterloo: The Hot Take, 200 years on

Uploaded: 5 Sept 2018

Given our years of media training here at Footnotes of History, it won’t surprise you to learn that we are responding to a hot story this week. Ok not really, but the release of a new film this very year means a particular event is undoubtedly going to be crowding the headlines of any right-thinking (and left-thinking?) tabloid and broadsheet this autumn.

This is of course the Peterloo Massacre. Its exact anniversary is August next year, but the film commemorating the event – directed by Mike Leigh of kitchen-sink-drama fame – is being polished for “The Can” as we speak. And we at FOH wanted to get our wild opinions out there before you all rush out to see it.

The Peterloo Massacre of course - as you will all know – was a monstrous incident in which a demonstration of 60,000 people in Manchester’s St. Peter’s Fields on 16 August 1819 was attacked by the army. 

Accident or otherwise, at least 15 were killed, with up to 400 injured.

If this was now this would be a gross overreaction by law enforcement and would be seen as a barbaric scandal. 

Mike Leigh’s film captures this in his usual gritty style. 

As you will find out in this episode – he captures a whole host of other issues that we are excited to see pan out, but in his enthusiasm also misses a number of major background factors that we thought ought to have been explored too!

And it wouldn’t be Footnotes of History without being a bit contrarian.

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