Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

"Red Ellen" Wilkinson: Her Ideas, Movements and World

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Matt Perry


Full text is not currently available for this publication.


This study delves beyond the familiar image of Ellen Wilkinson as the leader of the Jarrow Crusade. It has unearthed new evidence to provide a richer understanding of her remarkable achievements, her acquaintances and her witnessing of history’s great turning points. From a humble background, she ascended to the rank of Minister in the 1945 Labour government. Yet she was much more than a conventional Labour politician. She wrote journalism, political theory and novels. She was both a socialist and a feminist; at times, she described herself as a revolutionary. She met Lenin, Trotsky and Gandhi. She visited Soviet Russia, the GM sit-down strikes, the Indian civil disobedience campaign, the Spanish Civil War and the Third Reich. While viewed in the collective imagination as ‘Red Ellen’, whose politics were as red as her hair, her ideas were not static and present a series of puzzles. This study deploys transnational and social movement theory perspectives to grabble with the complex itinerary of her ideas and her relationship with the movements for social transformation. This research is timely because interest in her life remains among academic and non-academic audiences alike. This is in part because her principal concerns—working-class representation, the status of women, capitalist crisis, war, anti-fascism—remain central to contentious politics today.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Perry M

Publication type: Authored Book

Publication status: Published

Year: 2015

Number of Pages: 368

Print publication date: 01/05/2015

Online publication date: 01/07/2015

Acceptance date: 02/04/2014

Publisher: Manchester University Press

Place Published: Manchester, UK

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780719087202