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Summary

Set in Cumbria and covering the period from 1898 to the early '20s, this is the powerful saga of John Tallentire, first farm labourer then coal miner, and his wife, Emily.

John's struggle to break free from the humiliating status of a 'hired man' is the theme of a novel which has been hailed as a classic of its kind - as meticulously detailed as a social document, as evocative as the writings of Hardy and Lawrence.

©1969 Melvyn Bragg (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
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Enthralling

I enjoyed every minute. The accents were good and the descriptions helped paint pictures. Looking forward to the next part of this wonderful family saga.

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Coal meets corn docudrama

An interesting saga of rural life in 19th century Cumbria . Told with great confidence and attention to detail reflecting the social history of the age The characters are well drawn and the story engaging but I found that in the role of historic observer it was difficult to be empathetic with their trials .