For centuries, Britain has laid claim to the notion of liberty—and occasionally forgotten that the rights and freedoms enjoyed by its citizens were in fact hard-won. This volume uncovers those struggles—their winners, losers, and stalemates—which began nearly a millennium ago and continue to the present day. At heart, Taking Liberties is the story of individuals who sacrificed greatly for what they believed in, whether they were celebrated in their own day, like Wat Tyler and Emmeline Pankhurst, or little known despite their remarkable impact, like John Lilburne, Caroline Norton, and Fenner Brockway. Drawing on a wide range of British collections—including diaries, firsthand accounts, and individual ephemera—this readable and compelling text helps give a voice to the nature of British democracy at a time when cohesion, diversity, and identity have raised the stakes of public debate.
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