Joe England was educated at Cyfarthfa Grammar School, Merthyr Tydfil and at the University of Nottingham where he studied Economic and Social History. In a varied career he has been editor of a weekly newspaper, a full-time lecturer for the Workers’ Educational Association, Deputy Director of the Department of Extra-Mural Studies in the University of Hong Kong, Research Fellow in the Industrial Relations Research Unit at Warwick University and Principal and chief executive of Coleg Harlech, Wales’ residential college for adults. He has travelled widely in East Asia and is well-known as a lecturer on social and industrial a airs. He is Chair of the Merthyr Tydfil Heritage Forum.
About Merthyr, The Crucible of Modern Wales:
Alongside Huw Lewis's book Skylark's Song, Joe's book is helping to launch the Modern Wales series, which Dai Smith is editor of.
For most of the nineteenth century, Merthyr Tydfil was the largest urban settlement Wales had ever seen. It was the Iron Capital of the world. It was, as the title of Merthyr native Joe England’s magnificent history proclaims, the Crucible of Modern Wales.
It was Merthyr that foretold the economic and social transformation of Welsh life and Merthyr that excited the cultural and political furore which was to revolutionize industry and society throughout the iron and coal townships of South Wales.
It was Merthyr, from the armed rising of 1831 to the electoral radicalism of 1868 and 1900, that led the way towards democracy and civic advancement in the face of material degradation and high-handed repression.
Praise for Merthyr, the Crucible of Modern Wales:
'A fantastic piece of work. Highly impressive and just what is needed. An historical argument that takes in the complete sweep of industrial Merthyr s experience from the Poor Law to popular politics, from industrial developments to urbanisation the book is all the stronger for it.' - Andy Croll, University of South Wales.
'A must-read for anyone interested in Merthyr Tydfil and Dowlais and their extraordinary impact upon the wider world' - Huw Williams
Buy 'Merthyr, The Crucible of Modern Wales' here.