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March 8, 2006

Bonner's Field

Bradlaugh1.jpgIn a corner of Victoria Park in London in the middle of nineteenth century speakers would mount soapboxes to disclaim on any number of radical, or not so radical or anti-radical, causes. Crowds would cheer, hiss or answer back. The area was known as Bonner's Field. On Sundays most of the speeches and debates related to religion.

Representatives from half-a-dozen of Britain's splintering Christian faiths could be found there -- preaching, arguing, handing out tracts. And in one corner of Bonner's Field the latest addition of the country's religious smorgasbord gathered: freethinkers. Among those mounting their soapbox was a 17-year-old former Sunday-school teacher named Charles Bradlaugh, who will be one of the main characters in the book I'm writing.

It is difficult to think of a time or place where the discussion of religion was as open and as robust.

Posted by Mitchell Stephens at March 8, 2006 12:36 PM


I look forward to hearing more about this character.

I suppose this means you're guaranteed to sell at least *one* copy.

Posted by: Dayv at March 21, 2006 12:54 AM

Sounds interesting -- good luck. I'm writing a biography of Bradlaugh.

Question: have you come across any intersting South American atheists?


Posted by: Dan Allosso at July 12, 2006 8:01 PM

no south american atheists. curious about your bradlaugh project.

Posted by: mitch at July 12, 2006 9:19 PM

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