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Quaker Studies

Abstract

The usual story told of Woodbrooke's history is an entirely Quaker-centric account, focused on the currents in the Religious Society of Friends in Britain in the mid-nineteenth century, the 1895 Manchester Conference, and its aftermath. However, the currents affecting the religious concern for the education of adults stretch back through all denominations into the eighteenth century, and the Quaker activities were characteristic of the era. Similarly, the fortunes of Woodbrooke in the twentieth century are within the mainstream of other adult education provision and are affected, even though not directly controlled, by the cultural changes creating and created by state-funded adult education. This article traces the threads to situate Woodbrooke within a wider narrative, both influenced by and influencing the trajectory of adult education provision in Britain.

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