Imagining Robert: Scenes From The Life Of Robert 'Reschid' Stanley 1828-1911 by Christina Longden - Paperback
Robert Stanley was a respectable northern working-class Victorian man who converted to Islam. But his family managed to keep his Muslim identity a secret – for nearly a century.
Robert grew up in the cradle of Britain’s Industrial Revolution and was part of Ashton under Lyne’s Christian Israelite sect. Self-educated, this grocer and tea-trader made it his mission to protect mill workers' rights when they were bribed by factory owners for their votes. He rose to become one of Britain’s first working-class magistrates and mayors, witnessing first hand some of the most violent riots, radicalism and progressive reforms of the Victorian era.
Robert advised Parliament on the issue of introducing the secret ballot for the working classes and knew the Pankhursts. His desire for justice led him to challenge the British government over their unfair foreign policies towards non-Christians. In 1898, at the age of 69, he took the astonishing decision to convert to Islam, becoming close friend of famous convert – Abdullah Quilliam – Sheikh of Islam of the British Isles.
His family then covered up his life and achievements – for nearly a century.
But by a strange twist of fate, his own great x 3 grandson converted to Islam in 1990; knowing nothing about what his remarkable ancestor had done.
‘Imagining Robert’ uses creative fiction to paint a colourful and fascinating portrait of one of Britain’s unsung working-class heroes. Written by Robert’s great x 3 granddaughter, Christina Longden and based on her extensive research, this book will both inform and entertain its readers.