‘Too much preoccupied with dole and dolour’: Walter greenwood’s search for the radical and the popular in his worship the mayor

Phil O’Brien

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Abstract

This article reveals the cultural history of Walter Greenwood’s second novel His Worship the Mayor (1934). It tracks its trajectory from being Love on the Dole’s critically acclaimed semi-sequel to a dismissed and subsequently forgotten work. New and extensive archival research uncovers the censorship history of Give Us This Day, the play the novel became. It details how the stage version attracted the attention of the Lord Chamberlain’s office before an intervention from the BBC’s Director-General in 1952 meant it was never performed again as a radio production. Further, the reasons why the various adaptations of His Worship the Mayor were not deemed as commercially attractive as Love on the Dole are analysed; finally, I argue that Greenwood struggled to find an acceptable mediation between popular appeal and political radicalism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-46
Number of pages19
JournalLiterature and History
Volume27
Issue number1
Early online date14 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

Keywords

  • 1930s
  • Dole
  • Greenwood
  • Popular
  • Radical
  • Working class

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