Keir Hardie – Socialist fairytale

A 19th-century fairytale by Labour party founder Keir Hardie, which sees a gnarled, good-natured giant called Labour pitted against a king who was “much given to scheming and had a perfect hatred of work”, is to see the light of day for what is believed to be the first time in more than a century.

The History of a Giant: Being a Study in Politics for Very Young Boys, was published in the socialist newspaper Labour Leader on 8 April 1893, but has lain forgotten since. One of dozens of tales in a new collection of socialist children’s stories, Hardie’s story follows the life of Labour as he comes to the realisation that he needs to rid himself of the king and his offspring, Liberal and Tory.

The collection also includes another tale from Hardie, 1894’s Jack Clearhead. Subtitled “A Fairy Tale for crusaders”, Hardie intended for it “to be read to them by their fathers and mothers”.

Guardian review.

‘Workers’ Tales. Socialist Fairy Tales, Fables, and Allegories from Great Britain’ is published in November 2018 by Princetown University Press.

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