A Working Class Literature podcast double-episode in which we talk to acclaimed author, poet and Professor of Children’s Literature, Michael Rosen, about his anthology, Workers’ Tales: Socialist Fairy Tales, Fables, and Allegories from Great Britain, which gathers together short stories from the labour and socialist press between 1880 and 1920.

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  • Part 1: Michael explains the social context for the stories, why their authors put socialist ideas in this form, and the radical content of popular folk and fairy tales.

E3 Michael Rosen's socialist fairy tales, part 1 Working Class Literature

  • Part 2: Michael shows how popular children’s stories (like Wind in the Willows and Alice in Wonderland) are shot through with the political content of their adult authors. He also reads a story from his anthology by William Morris and explains how all culture, including children’s writing, contains contest

E4 Michael Rosen's socialist fairy tales, part 2 Working Class Literature

  • Bonus episode: More from our conversation with Michael, in which he goes into more detail about the historical context for these stories as well as the history and ideas of a tradition within the labour movement called syndicalism – available exclusively for our patreon supporters.

More information

You can get hold of a copy of Michael’s book, below:
Workers’ Tales: Socialist Fairy Tales, Fables, and Allegories from Great Britain


We always endeavour to be as accurate as possible, but we are only human so occasionally we err. In part 1, Michael makes reference Aesop’s fable ‘The Dog and the Wolf’, but says fox instead of wolf.



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