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The Nonconformist Revolution (Hardback)

Religious dissent, innovation and rebellion

P&S History Social History England

By Amanda J Thomas
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 280
Illustrations: 30 black and white
ISBN: 9781473875678
Published: 30th June 2020

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The Nonconformism Revolution explores the evolution of dissenting thought and how Nonconformity shaped the transformation of England from a rural to an urban, industrialised society.

The foundations for the Industrial Revolution were in place from the late Middle Ages when the early development of manufacturing processes and changes in the structure of rural communities began to provide opportunities for economic and social advancement. Successive waves of Huguenot migrants and the influence of Northern European religious ideology also played an important role in this process. The Civil Wars would provide a catalyst for the dissemination of new ideas and help shape the emergence of a new English Protestantism and divergent dissident sects. The persecution which followed strengthened the Nonconformist cause, and for the early Quakers it intensified their unity and resilience, qualities which would prove to be invaluable for business.

In the years following the Restoration, Nonconformist ideas fuelled enlightened thought creating an environment for enterprise but also a desire for more radical change. Reformers seized on the plight of a working poor alienated by innovation and frustrated by false promises. The vision which was at first the spark for innovation would ignite revolution.

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 Amanda J Thomas

About Amanda J Thomas

Amanda Thomas is an author, historian and linguist with a particular interest in social and medical history. To date her books include Cholera - The Victorian Plague (Pen & Sword, 2015) and The Lambeth Cholera Outbreak of 1848-1849: The Setting, Causes, Course and Aftermath of an Epidemic in London (McFarland, 2009). Broadcast work comprises London 2000 Years Revealed (Channel 5, 2019), Who Do You Think You Are? (Wall to Wall Media/BBC1, 2016-17 and 2012-13), and The Flying Archaeologist (BBC4, 2012).


Amanda has previously worked in journalism, and public relations for television companies including The Walt Disney Company and Television New Zealand.


Born in Chatham, Kent, Amanda is passionate about supporting the heritage of the Medway Towns, and also that of Hertfordshire, where she now lives. She edits the historical journal. 


Amanda’s interest in Nonconformism stems from the discovery that her ancestor, Simon Osmotherly was a Roundhead during the English Civil War and one of the founders of Quakerism in the North West of England.

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