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Christopher Ferguson, associate professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts, has recently published his first book, "An Artisan Intellectual: James Carter and the Rise of Modern Britain, 1792-1853." The work analyzes the life and ideas of a long forgotten English tailor and writer—one of the countless, largely anonymous citizens whose lives were transformed dramatically during the first half of the nineteenth century. Though Carter began work as a tailor at the age of 13, by the time he was in his 30s, he had begun to supplement this work by writing, publishing seven books and more than 50 works of poetry addressing subjects as diverse as religion, death, nature, aesthetics and theories of civilization. Carter’s words give us a fascinating window into the revolutionary forces that upended the world of ordinary citizens in this era and demonstrate how changes in daily life impacted personal experiences and intellectual pursuits, as well as labor practices and living and working environments. Ferguson first became interested in Carter when he discovered that the tailor’s autobiography had been misattributed to a nonexistent individual. Recovering Carter’s personal history, however, ultimately became a means for revising prevailing scholarly understandings of the British society he inhabited.

"An Artisan Intellectual" is available on Amazon and from Louisiana State University Press. For more information or to purchase the book, go to http://lsupress.org/books/detail/artisan-intellectual/

More information about Ferguson is available online.