This is the story of their spectacular decline: of inheritance fights; rumours of a changeling and of lunacy; philandering earls; illicit love; war heroism: a tragic connection to the Kennedy's; violent deaths: mining poverty and squalor; and a class war that literally ripped apart the local landscape.
©2008 Catherine Bailey; (P)2008 Oakhill Publishing Ltd
"Extraordinary, fascinating, harrowing. A truly compelling read." (Sunday Telegraph)
Having been a member of Audible for a couple of years i can easily say this is the best listen so far. It concerns the fortunes of a coal family who own the impressive Wentworth House.
The true story of this family is incredible, through birth, changelings, war and tradgedy, you couldn't make parts of it up. The story of Edgar Bower is heartbreaking. Get this book now, you won't stop talking about it. An Amazing book!
"GREAT STORY BEAUTIFULLY READ, BUT IS IT FICTION?"
I bouht this book because it sounded like an interesting story. It turns out it is true, so I wondred why it is in the fiction section. A book about mining sounds uninspiring, but the book truely is fantastic. It follows the lives of the inhabitants of one of the most stately homes in England (google it to get some idea of it's majesty) along with the intertwined lives of the mining villages. It interweaves stories beautifully but always clearly giving an insight into how lives and history are inevitably tangled. Don't like history...don't be put off. If history was always this interesting we'd all have done it at university! The book is also beautifully read by a voice you could listen to all day.
This book stayed on my wish list quite a while because usually biographies & memoirs are not my thing. But having listened to it eventually I am very glad I did. It is a fascinating book. The story of one of the grand English families and its country house and the of the coal mining industry, nicely intertwined. And beautifully read. One of the best books I downloaded.
"A real life Forsyte Saga"
A fascinating book, beautifully written and superbly narrated, which traces the hisory of a great house, a noble family and the miners who worked for them against the backdrop of th monumental events of the first half of the 20th Century. This is social, political and industrial history told by a writer with a real flair fo bringing the past, and its people, to life. It is real life Forsyte Saga and given Catherine Bailey's career background I will keep my eyes peeled for the TV mini series!
Overall this is probably the best audiobook that I have had from Audible - I liked it so much that I subsequently bought the paperbook version for my partner to read. Which brings me to my one grumble - and the reason for 4 stars rather than 5; the physical book comes complete with a range of illustrations showing people and places mentioned in the text, all of which adds considerably to both interest an understanding. It is of course impossible to include such illustrations in an audiobook - but given the very high list price of this book (£39.99 against the £6.25 which I paid for the paperback from Amazon) is it too much to ask for the publisher to set up a linked website to provide access to illustrations? This grumble is of course common to most non-fiction audiobooks and it doesn't alter he fact that his is a superb listen.
I was surprised to listen to a book which was not what I expected - it was better. the narrator added so much to my pleasure. As a commentary on social history it was enthralling
"Quite Simply The Best"
This is the most interesting and beautifully read book in the Audible Library, i recommended it to many a friend and they all agree
"A Diamond of a Listen"
The intertwined stories of the rise and fall of a great family and of the coal mining industry are grippingly told and very well read.
Unbelieveable as fiction, the fact that this is a true story makes for some jaw-dropping moments as well as capturing a slice of recent social history. "The Fosdyke Saga" it ain't! Recommended.
"A great listen"
This isn't the type of thing i'd normally listen to, but after reading the reviews I thought I would give it a go. I am so glad I did. I really enjoyed the story and it was an excellent insight into the daily life of the times. A great listen, get it you won't be disappointed. I am now looking for a similar type for my next download.
I downloaded this audio book on a bit of whim after seeing the other reviews for it and I wasn't dissapointed! I didn't know if the 14 hours listening time would be a bit long, but it was such an interesting listen I could have listened to it for longer than that. If only there where more books like this which combine real people's stories with the events of the the day, it gives history more context and gives you a better of understanding of how things are and how things were. Highly recommended to anyone interested in history and life, and of special interest to anyone living in yorkshire (which i do).
"Taught me stuff I didn't know - about coal!"
I can only add to all the other glowing reviews - fantastic. Who'd have thought that the history of the coal industry could be so gripping. Essential listening for anyone who wants to understand the historical background, and the tale of the Wentworth family makes an enthralling structure to hang it on.
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