​​​​ An Assessment of Ethel Carnie | Another P​​erspective of Ethel Carnie | Ethel Carnie and William Hall Burnett​


 

 An Assessment of Ethel Carnie 

 by Dr Kathleen Bell 

Ethel Carnie Holdsworth (also published as Ethel Carnie and Ethel Holdsworth)  (1886–1962)

Much of Ethel Carnie Holdsworth’s work – as poet, novelist, children’s author, editor - was politically radical, springing from a working-class, feminist perspective.  Born in Lancashire, she began work at the cotton mill aged eleven as a part-timer, working full-time from the age of thirteen.  In an article for The Woman Worker (which she edited for six months) (March 31, 1909) she described the factory worker as ‘practically a beggar and a slave’, declaring all workers ‘dependent on the whims of a master class.’  The grind of domestic work, often combined with factory labour, also attracted her attention; she urged women to ‘go out and play’ and be ‘something more than a dish washer’ (ibid. April 14, 1909).
 
Holdsworth’s first publications (as Ethel Carnie) were poems, collected in Rhymes from the Factory in 1907. Two further volumes followed: Songs of a Factory Girl (1911) and Voices of Womanhood (1914).  Two poems from her second volume were set in a song sequence by Ethel Smyth (Three Songs, 1913) and performed in London; the settings were dedicated to Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst.  Her novel Helen of Four Gates (1917) was filmed in 1920.
 
Children’s stories and novels followed.  Holdsworth’s best work for children was influenced by Oscar Wilde; ‘The Blind Prince’ in The Lamp Girl and other Stories (1913) is a disturbing tale of extreme oppression, concluding with the establishment of a republic and a rather disappointing romance.
 
Holdsworth’s political involvement led her to campaign against conscription during the First World War, to edit (with her husband) an anti-fascist journal, The Clear Light and to publish a series of sonnets in the Anarchist paper Freedom, taking up the cause of Anarchists imprisoned in Soviet jails.  In a letter accompanying her first sonnet (October 1924), she asserted that she belonged to no political group.  Instead, she declared, ‘I belong to the folk – from the most undeveloped and illiterate, so confused that they are the bedrock of even reaction, to Whitman and Morris, and Marx, Kropotkin, and Bakunin.’
 
In her 1909 poem ‘Love and Poverty’ Holdsworth suggests that love could be achieved only ‘When Poverty is not a crime’; the tension between love and poverty operates as political criticism in many of her works.  While her best-known novel This Slavery (1925) combines romance and melodrama with a tale of industrial conflict, it also indicates the necessity of seeing the world politically and acting to secure change.  Her last novel, All On Her Own (1929), written for a series of women’s romantic fictions, combines comments on inequality and land-ownership with arguments about the status of women and their need for responsibility and respect.
 
 As a working-class writer she drew on a range of styles and genres without a clear sense of hierarchies in literature.  She believed in natural genius and hoped readers would find unity of feeling between poem and poet. Her work may be uneven but it offers the perspective of a highly politicised working-class woman.
 
Alves, Susan. ‘‘Whilst working at my frame’: The Poetic Production of Ethel Carnie’, Victorian Poetry 38.1 (Spring 2000) 77-93
 
Fox, Pamela. Class Fictions (Durham: Duke University Press, 1994).
 
Frow, Ruth and Edmund. ‘Ethel Carnie: Writer, Feminist and Socialist.’  In The Rise of Socialist Fiction 1880-1914, ed. H. Gustav Klaus (Brighton: Harvester, 1987) 251-6.
 
Key quotations on factory life from articles in The Woman Worker
 
‘The Factory Slave’ (The Woman Worker, March 3, 1909, p.214)
 
Girlhood glides into womanhood, and one falls in love.  (Which shows the innate cheek of the working-class, who dare to dream of happiness living from hand to mouth.)
 
‘Factory Intelligence’ (The Woman Worker, March 10, 1909, p.219)
 
If you ever took a stroll through a cotton factory whilst the “hands” were away in their homes having dinner, and were inquisitive enough to poke into the square, tin boxes that are for the purpose of holding weft, you would find a varied assortment of literature.  You might find, deftly hidden (lest the eagle eye of the overlooker pop on them), Conan Doyle, Rider Haggard, Silas Hocking, Dickens, “Daily Mail,” “Comic Cuts,” and (sometimes) the “Clarion.”
 Have you ever tried to read in the working hours of a factory?  It is a weird experience.
 
So between the breaking of the threads and the throwing of the shuttle we thieve back a little of the time that they are thieving from us.  It needs patience, too.  In some six hours, with good luck, you may manage two pages of pretty open print.
 
Does it not argue a love of learning when we attempt to read in such hells as these?  And it is better to pursue the adventures of the Pink Kid in the “Comic Cuts” than never get out of one’s self - it does at least save us from going mad.  Taken from the ugly schoolroom and plunged into the factory we waste our youth, our health, our beauty in weaving cotton.  Shade of Shakespeare, what have we to do with thee?  Surely thou wast meant for the rich and not for us!
 
‘The Home Life of Factory Workers’  (The Woman Worker, March 24, 1909 p.270)
Sunday is the only day we have to live our lives.  Out of the House of Bondage into the field of liberty.
They did well to allow us this one day in the week in which to have a taste of home - otherwise we should have broken loose long since.
Once I saw a picture of the crucified Christ.
That wan brow, and anguished look - you need not go into a picture gallery to see it. Stand at the gates of a cotton factory at the end of a summer’s day, and see the operatives trail out.  The little half-timer by the loom, straining to reach - with thin hands throwing the shuttle, you may see it there.
 
‘The Factory and Content’  (The Woman Worker, March 31, 1909, p.312)
 
The factory worker is practically a beggar and a slave.
So are all other workers dependent upon the whims of a master class.
We are out to teach the worker, whether in the factory or out of it, what he needs to enjoy a full and healthy life.
That it is not enough to have merely a shelter for the head, and enough food (does he always get that?), but that there is a higher existence he is missing.
 
‘How Colour is Introduced’  (The Woman Worker, April 7, 1909, p.323)
 
The happiest kind of factory workers are the heavy, stolid folks who never ask questions of anyone else or of themselves [...]
There is another class that see and suffer.  Of these some go for soldiers - that is the man’s way of gaining a splash of colour.  The women flirt, plunge into enjoyment (not always nice), and often land at the bottom of the ladder - a few rungs lower than the respectable toilers who have not strayed from the straight and narrow way.
 This class is made up of the finest natures.  They have not forgotten how to feel.  The bars hurt them, and they beat their wings frantically against the door.
[...] a system that from its very sameness and flatness sends the finest of our men and women to drink or worse [...]
 What I should have been had Robert Blatchford not taken me out of the cage goodness knows - I do not.
 
‘Our Right to Play’  (The Woman Worker, April 14, 1909, p.342)
 
For God’s sake, women, go out and play.
Instead of staring round to see what wants polishing or rubbing, go out into the open and draw the breath of the moors or the hills into your lungs.  Get some of the starshine and sunlight into your souls, and do not forget that you are something more than a dish washer - that you are more necessary to the human race than politicians - or anything.
Remember you belong to the aristocracy of labour - the long pedigree of toil, and the birthright which Nature gives to everyone had entitled you to an estate higher than that of princes.

 

Another Perspective of Ethel ​​Carnie 

 
Ethel Carnie
by Nicola Wilson
 
It was the second, enlarged edition of Rhymes from the Factory, published in 1908, that brought Carnie to national attention. In July 1908, the popular socialist author and Clarion leader Robert Blatchford visited Ethel at home for an interview with his newspaper, The Woman Worker (she was fined for taking unauthorised leave from her loom for this meeting). A full-page interview was published, in which Blatchford characterises Carnie as ‘a fairy: an inscrutable, inexplicable, impossible fairy’:
 
So this was the fairy: this her home. Just a typical Lancashire factory girl, in a typical Lancashire house. A bright fire, a burnished stove, a clean-swept hearth: a small quiet young woman, with quiet grey eyes, a quiet smile, and a dimple in her chin ( Blatchford, 'A Lancashire Fairy. An Interview with Miss Ethel Carnie', The Woman Worker, 10 July 1908, p155).
   
Blatchford was to be the second of Carnie’s influential male patrons, and he encouraged her to leave her life in the mill, aged 22, for a full-time writing career in London. She later commented, ‘what I should have been had Robert Blatchford not taken me out of the cage goodness knows – I do not’. (Carnie, 'How Colour is Introduced', The Woman Worker, 7 April 1909, p323).
 
Ethel wrote for a number of newspapers in London, including The Clarion and The Woman Worker, which she also edited between July and December of 1909. With the collapse of The Woman Worker at the end of 1909 she returned to Lancashire and ‘took the line of least resistance and went back into the factory again’ (Anon., 'Ex-Mill Girl Who Became Literary Celebrity', The Yorkshire Observer, 5 April 1932, p.11).
 
This was only to be a temporary measure. The years 1910 to 1915, when Carnie married, saw the publication of her first novel and a second volume of poetry, in addition to extensive travels in Germany, shop work with her mother, time attending Owens College in Manchester, and two years’ teaching at the short-lived Bebel House Women’s College and Socialist Education Centre in London – part of the Central Labour College’s programme for independent working-class education.
 
After an unsuccessful stint in a deprived post-war London, and a period selling ribbons and lace on Blackburn market, Carnie and her husband, the poet Alfred Holdsworth, moved to Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire with their two daughters.
 
Carnie continued to write journalism for much of her life-time, though a troubled marriage (she separated from her husband), another ‘fascist’ war, and a decline in her physical health depressed her.
From 1930(ish) until her death she lived at Cheetham Hill, Manchester.  
   
Bibliography (poetry volumes and long works of fiction)
 
Rhymes from the Factory (Blackburn: R. Denham & Co, 1907). 2nd edition (Southport: Shackerley literacy Agency, 1908)

Songs of a Factory Girl (London: Headley Brothers, 1911)

The Lamp Girl and other Stories (London: Headley Brothers, 1913)

Miss Nobody (London: Methuen & Co, 1913)

Voices of Womanhood (London: Headley Bros, 1914)

Helen of Four Gates (London: Herbert Jenkins, 1917)

The Taming of Nan (London: Herbert Jenkins, 1919)

The Marriage of Elizabeth (London: Herbert Jenkins, 1920)

The House that Jill Built (London: Herbert Jenkins, 1920)

General Belinda (London: Herbert Jenkins, 1924)

This Slavery (London:  The Labour Publishing Co., 1925)

The Quest of the Golden Garter (London: Herbert Jenkins, 1927)

Eagles Crag (London: Stanley Paul & Co., 1928)

Barbara Dennison, (London: Stanley Paul & Co., 1929)
 
An Analysis of the Works of Fiction
  
Between 1913 and the end of the 20s, Carnie published ten novels (several of which were also serialised). Her fictional output was varied but most often dealt with northern working-class domestic life, depicting what a reviewer in The Blackburn Weekly Telegraph described as ‘the homely life of the people’ (Anon., 'The Marriage of Elizabeth', The Blackburn Weekly Telegraph, 26 June 1920).
 
Carnie’s books are populated by factory girls and domestic servants, country ‘folk’ and the odd working lass made-good. At the heart of most of the plots is a concern to depict the day-to-day struggles of working life. Particular concern is expressed for the difficulties facing working-class women: in The House that Jill Built, one of the few Carnie novels not set in Lancashire, a well-meaning inheritress builds a holiday home for tired mothers of the East End.
 
Carnie’s novels were generally favourably received by the press, especially on her home-ground: in 1932, The Yorkshire Observer described her as a ‘literary celebrity’ ( Anon., 'Ex-Mill Girl Who Became Literary Celebrity', The Yorkshire Observer, 5 April 1932).
 
She enjoyed the popularity of a best-seller in her second novel, the disturbing Helen of Four Gates, which sold in tens of thousands and was compared in the national reviews to the likes of Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Wuthering Heights. Despite dealing with the sometimes gritty concerns of everyday life, much of her fiction was narrated in a witty, light-hearted tone, and she had a respectable reputation as a modest lady author – a provincial writer of entertaining domestic dramas.
 
Her 1925 novel This Slavery challenged this reputation by bringing her simmering Marxist-feminist consciousness more explicitly to the fore. Its scathing narrator and provocative tone – it is dedicated ‘To Mother and Father, slaves and rebels […] with a Daughter’s affection and a Comrade’s greetings’ – was too much for her former local champions. The Blackburn Times reviewer, for instance, condemned what he saw as an ‘unfair’ representation of Lancashire factory life. Carnie defended the novel as her ‘first attempt to portray a horrible social struggle’, though she was dissuaded from voicing such polemical views in fiction, as opposed to her journalism, again (Ethel Carnie, 'Letter', The Blackburn Times, 27 June 1925).
 
This Slavery was not released by her usual publishers, but by the Labour Publishing Company – a 1920s press which aimed to make cheap copies of left-wing texts available to working-class pockets. 2s 6d still made it far too much for most workers, but this was much cheaper than her other novels, which sold at the normal price of 7s 6d. The novel is a radical mill-girl tale, which imitates the popular weekly magazines of the time – avidly consumed by working women and girls – which told of the lives and loves of factory girls. To this popular genre (This Slavery has its fair share of lecherous overseers, wrong-footed marriages, and wicked mill-owners), Carnie adds a woman-centred and socialist framework, through which she criticises both economic slavery and sexual slavery. At the heart of the novel is a passionate plea for women’s freedom under socialism:
 
“I wonder when women’ll be free, mother An’ chaps, too, of course. But we, we somehow have a tradition behind us besides an economic slavery. We’ve got the race on our shoulders, an’ all th’ other besides” ( From Rachel's speech in Chapter Vl, This Slavery, p.59).  
 

Ethel Carnie and William Hall Burnett​​

This post describes the relationship between William and the mill-girl poet Ethel Carnie. I am grateful for the interest shown by Roger Smalley and for sending me copies of material concerning Ethel Carnie and William from the Blackburn Library (see Bibliography).  Roger has documented the political life of Ethel Carnie in 'Breaking the Bonds of Capitalism: the political vision of a Lancashire mill girl, Ethel Carnie Holdsworth (1886-1962), Regional Heritage Centre, Department of History, Lancaster University (2014).

Ethel Carnie.jpg

Ethel Carnie as a young girl.

​​Articles examining the poetry of Ethel Carnie attribute her early recognition to “middle-class male mentors W. H. Burnett and the editor of 'The Clarion', Robert Blatchford [1] and to the “imprimatur of middle-class male sponsors and editors".[2]  The relationship with Robert Blatchford is well documented[3] although the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry for Robert Peel Glanville Blatchford [4] makes no mention of Ethel Carnie.  This post focuses on the less well documented relationship with her first sponsor William Hall Burnett. When both men met Ethel they would certainly be regarded as middle-class but their early life experiences were far removed from middle-class.

Robert Blatchford was born in 1851. His parents were both provincial actors; his father died when he was two and at fourteen he was indentured to a brush maker in Halifax, Yorkshire.  At the age of 20, one year before the end of his indenture he ran away to London and enlisted in the 103rd Regiment of Foot (the Royal Bombay Fusiliers) which had recently returned from India. He was promoted to sergeant finally leaving the service in 1878. In 1900 when he first met Ethel Carnie he was joint owner and editor of the socialist weekly 'The Clarion'.

William Hall Burnett was born in 1840 in the market town of Stokesley, North Riding of Yorkshire, the fourth illegitimate child of Hannah Burnett who was variously employed as a washerwoman and an agricultural labourer. He was baptised William Burnett but in his teenage years adopted Hall as his middle name; in recognition that his biological father was Thomas Hall, a handloom linen weaver.  A contemporary account[5]describes William's early life, 

“His parents being poor, his early education was necessarily limited, so that his intellectual attainments are entirely due to his own indomitable pluck and perseverance. He was a protégé of William Braithwaite, the well-known printer, and friend of many celebrated authors, Inwards, Walker Ord, Tweddell, Heavisides, Prince, Cleaver, Rogerson, etc. He developed early & penchant for elocution, so much so that he had recited to considerable audiences before he was ten years of age. By the time he had attained 13, he was at business, had taught himself " the winged art,"[6] and was acting as correspondent at Stokesley for the York Herald, remaining on the staff for ten years. At 15 he went to Middlesbrough as turn-over apprentice on the Middlesbrough News, of which journal he was appointed editor at the age of 19."  William moved with his family to Blackburn at the end of 1887, where he became editor of the Blackburn Standard and Express, a well recognised Conservative paper in the town".

Ethel Carnie was born on New Year's Day, 1886 in the Lancashire village of Oswaldtwistle, the daughter of David and Louise Carnie.  Both parents were cotton weavers and when she was five years old, the family including her brother Rupert moved to Rishton and subsequently to Great Harwood where she was sent to the local British School, both places being to the north-east of Blackburn.  An account of her early life was written by P.E.M. (the initials of Priscilla E Moulder, herself an ex-factory worker and journalist);

“While at school her composition attracted the attention of teachers, melting used to read it aloud for the benefit of the rest of the class, as an example of what composition should be. In her school days the girl could not be described as a brilliant scholar, but she learnt easily, and was always fond of poetry. Time went on, as time has a knack of doing and at the age of eleven Ethel Carnie was working 'halftime' as a reeler in the nearest cotton mill. At twelve she was taught the art of winding and went 'full-time' at thirteen, at which age her education was supposed to be finished.  Ethel remained a winder up to the age eighteen, then she became a warper and beamer.....While still a winder in the factory Ethel had composed many odd verses, and at eighteen she published her first poem in the pages of the Blackburn Times" [7].

When William met Ethel Carnie he had retired as editor of the Blackburn Standard and Express, but by no means from active life. In 1903 he was elected as the first President of the Blackburn Authors' Society and could, for what it is worth, be regarded as conservative middle-class, albeit a 'one-nation' conservative.  The assertion by Alves that he was “not a poet himself" misses the core of the relationship that he had with Ethel Carnie - that they shared a love of poetry. He was indeed a published poet [8], and in common with editors of many contemporary provincial newspapers used his role to encourage poets writing both in plain English and north country dialects.

It was Ethel Carnie's first published poem entitled 'The Bookworm' in the Blackburn Times[9] (1904) that caught William's eye and in his capacity as President of the Blackburn Author's Society as Moulder recounts he “went see the girl and invited her to bring a few of her poems to the next meeting of the society.  The girl did so in great fear and trembling....small wonder that the assembled members of the Blackburn Authors' Society could scarcely believe that the poem was the original work of a factory girl" 7.  Some verses

William's support did not stop there and after the meeting “he mooted the idea of a book"[10] and wrote a lengthy article in the Blackburn Weekly Telegraph, entitled 'Ethel Carnie as a Poetess'[11].  He starts his article with reference to some verses from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's (1807-1882) poem 'Nuremberg': 

'As the weaver plied the shuttle, wove he too the mystic rhyme,
And the smith his iron measures hammered to the anvil's chime;
Thanking God, whose boundless wisdom makes the flowers of poesy bloom
In the forge's dust and cinders, in the tissues of the loom.

Reference to this poem links him both to Ethel who described 'The Bookworm' as being “composed one morning while working at her frame"[12] and to his putative father, John Hall a handloom weaver from Stokesley. It also reflects his interest in the work of James Sharples,[13] Blackburn blacksmith and artist whose engraving of 'The Forge' he sought to promote on his visit to John Ruskin at Brantwood in 1893 [14]. Ethel Carnie used these verses in the frontispiece of her first book of poems published early the following year. William shows characteristic enthusiasm saying “We think we have found a new singer, and were prepared to put our judgement to the test, and the reader shall be the judge" and after describing the circumstances of her upbringing rather prophetically says, “What might such a singer accomplish if she had more leisure than hard factory work affords?". A full exploration of William's article and its comments on Ethel Carnie's poetry has been published by Roger Smalley in his PhD and in his life of Ethel Carnie (2014)

The book of poems which he suggested after the meeting of the Blackburn Author's Society was eventually produced in March 1907 under the title 'Rhymes from the Factory'. Five hundred copies were printed by R Denham and Co Ltd of Blackburn and priced at 6d each. A few days earlier on Sunday 24th February 1907 William wrote in Ethel's scrap-book a short poem, 'Evening Shadows':

'When evening shadows fall
Upon my wearied soul,
If all my friends be true
I shall not greatly rue:
If kith and kin be kind
I shall not greatly mind'

The melancholic opening lines suggest that whilst William's life was in its later stages whilst Ethel's was just beginning but that friends and family meant much to him was the solace that helped his 'wearied soul' through the death of his wife in 1897 and two of his sons, Bertie Hadrian at the aged of five and John St Alban a promising young journalist at the age of 20 from tuberculosis.

The first edition of 'Rhymes from the Factory' was greeted in a rather condescending manner in the Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser of Friday 1st March 1907, 'The small collection of poems entitled “Rhymes from the Factory" ...by Ethel Carnie, is worthy of all praise, when it is considered that the writer is a mill girl.  The “The Bookworm" is one of the best pieces, but “To the Bust of Mozart", “Last Days of Pompei" and “Time" are also noteworthy.'

However, the book was generally well received and as Ethel recounts in the preface to a second edition, “Within a month of publication the first edition of my verse, 500 copies were sold out' and 'This has determined me to publish a much larger edition. 1000 copies, containing my former poems with emendations and additions".  This second edition was published by R Denham and Co Ltd together with the Shackerley Literary Agency.  The Shackerley Literary Agency, Southport was an imprint used by William to publish a number of pamphlets and a small book entitled 'A few Specimen Poems and Aphorisms'. The name was taken from a farm house that he lived in for a short time at Mellor near Blackburn and indicates that he may have partially financed this second edition.  This second edition contained, as had the first edition a dedication “to my esteemed friend W H Burnett as a small token of sincere gratitude and respect".

With the second edition of 'Rhymes from the Factory', the Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser had changed its tune saying “That there should be required a second edition Miss Ethel Carnie's “Rhymes from the Factory" (Blackburn: R. Denham and Co., is. net) is proof of the existence of discriminating love of poetry which judges work on its intrinsic merits. With outside aid Miss Carnie has won for herself a worthy place among the poets of the people. Her songs and lyrics are full of music and beauty and are models of artistic style. In the whole volume is no careless paltry line, and that compositions of such grace should come from a Lancashire cotton factory is a fact of which all Lancashire people will be proud. Miss Carnie has honoured herself and her county".  There is not much doubt that William would have remembered how being the protégé of William Braithwaite the Stokesley Publisher/printer had helped to open many doors to him as a very young man and would have provided the 'outside aid' in the form of 'much kindly encouragement'[15]

There is not much evidence that Ethel and William met much after his involvement through the Shakerley Literary agency in the publication of a second edition of 'Rhymes from the Factory'. Her second book of poetry 'Songs of a Factory Girl' was published in April 1911 and ran to four editions in November 1913 she published her first novel 'Miss Nobody' and in April 1914 a third book of poetry, 'Voices of Womanhood' which included a moving dedication to 'Mr W. H. Burnett, Editor of late “Blackburn Standard and Express" and one time of Blackburn Authors' Association' – a fitting epitaph to William himself, who died in 1916 and to his relationship with Ethel Carnie, the Mill Girl Poet.

MR. W. H. BURNETT,

EDITOR OF LATE "BLACKBURN STANDARD AND EXPRESS " AND 

ONE TIME PRESIDENT OF BLACKBURN AUTHORS' ASSOCIATION,

I DEDICATE THIS BOOK, AS A SMALL TOKEN OF

AFFECTION AND ESTEEM, AND GRATEFUL 

REMEMBRANCE OF HIS BEING MY FIRST 

LITERARY FRIEND, AND FOR HIS

FIRST INTORDUCING ME TO 

THE READING PUBLIC.

APRIL, 1914.

[1] Alves, Susan  “'Whilst working at my frame': The Poetic Production of Ethel Carnie" Victorian Poetry, 38, Spring 2000:77-93

[2] Johnson, Patricia E. “Finding Her Voice(s): the Development of a Working Class Feminist Vision in Ethel  Carnie's  Poetry"  Victorian Poetry 43, Fall 2005: 297-315

[3] In Ethel Carnie Holdsworth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethel_Carnie_Holdsworth (accessed 24/10/2014)

[4] Robert Peel Glanville Blatchford  (1851-1943):doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/31924

[5] Andrews, William,  North Country poets – poems and biography (1888)

[6] Sir Isaac Pitman (1813-1897): doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/222322
Fraser, Carolyn 'The Winged art'  http://www.carolynfraser.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Fraser_Uppercase_8.pdf           The term the 'winged art' was used to describe a system of shorthand, the second edition of which was launched by Sir          Isaac Pitman on the 10th January 1840 to coincide with the introduction of the penny post, which assisted the
distribution both of its publication and of the copious shorthand correspondence which increasingly linked the system's
users.

[7] Factory Girl Poet: Ethel Carnie, The Millgate Monthly (a publication of the Manchester Co-operative Society), November
1909 (written by P.E.M. , Priscilla E Moulder)

[8] Hull, George  Poets and poetry of Blackburn, (1902) Blackburn, J & G Toulmin, Printers, “Times" Office, Northgate
This volume contains a portrait of WHB that covers the period from his birth in 1840 through to his retirement as editor
of the Blackburn Standard.  Three poems, On the unveiling of a window dedicated to St Michael and all angels, Mary's in
the Shippon, A Mellor Fields' Ballad and Stokesley and Far out to sea, A lyric.

[9] 'The Bookworm' published in The Blackburn Times (1904)

[10] 'The Authoress of our new serial story'  Co-operative News, July 24th 1915

[11] 'Ethel Carnie as a Poetess', W H Burnett, Blackburn Weekly Telegraph, 10 November 1906 p9

[12] Blackburn Times June 1908

[13] James Sharples (1825-1893): doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/252241

[14] Blackburn Standard, 9th September 1893

[15] “Miss Nobody" – and its Author, The Wheatsheaf, November 1913 p 85-86​

Article submitted October 2017 by David Burnett; the great grandson of William Hall Burnett, Editor of the Blackburn Standard and associated newspapers from 1887 - 1900. 

There is more information about William Hall Burnett on David's website: William Hall Burnett​

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