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Summary

From his remote moorland home, David Hartley assembles a gang of weavers and land workers to embark upon a criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history. They are the Cragg Vale Coiners, and their business is clipping - the forging of coins, a treasonous offence punishable by death.

©2019 Ben Myers (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about The Gallows Pole

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The gruesome tale of the Cragg Vale Coiners

Being from West Yorkshire and interested in local history I read the Gallows Pole when it was first published and loved the gruesome tale of "King" David Hartley and his merry band of counterfeiters in 18th Century Calderdale. I liked it so much that went over to Mytholmroyd to re-tract the footsteps of the coiner gang through Bell Hole Woods and up to King David's home at Bell House on the edge of Erringden Moor and afterwards visited the White Lion pub in Heptonstall and the excellent local museum that includes coiner artefacts. I also purchased the excellent album by the Shining Levels of folk song inspired by Ben Myers' novel.
When I saw that Gallows Pole was now on Audible too, I instantly handed over coin again to hear the story told over again. And I am glad that I did. The narrator Malk Williams has the Calderdale voices down perfectly and I sat back and enjoyed the richness of the descriptions of the valley and the countryside and the colourful dialogue of the gang of forgers and the valley folk. To me, listening to this adds another dimension to the enjoyment of this story and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

6 people found this helpful

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Tough, 'ard', foul and sweary

Ten hours of poetic Northern swearing combined with long lists of names and some of the most creative threats ever uttered in fiction. Beautiful, enigmatic, and memorable.

3 people found this helpful

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Loved every moment.

An amazing story which will inform and enlighten its readers about the character of the Calder Valley then and now! Not sure about the narrator's grasp on all the place names but it's a minor point and will only grate on those from the area.

2 people found this helpful

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Fascinating insight into defacing currency

Very well written account of a forgotten era of history when coins could be clipped

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Rare 5 Star review

I think only a couple of other books have moved me to 5 stars before. This is terrific stuff - a rollicking story, beautiful, coarse, earthy poetry and fantastic pacy narration. It’s essentially a Western with the back drop of the Yorkshire moors but also a book about a world on the cusp of fundamental change and the impact that will bring. It’s also a true story. One of those books I was genuinely trying to find time to listen to and I raced through it in a week.

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Authentic narration

Grand use of narration to bring otherwise hard to read phonetically written dialect to life in order to relate a fictionalised account of an incredible historical story perhaps little known today outside its locale until this book justifiably won the Walter Scott Historical Fiction Prize. Excellent all round.

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Interesting, informative and entertaining.

I very much enjoyed this audiobook. I knew nothing about the coining trade in the 18th century and was fascinated by the gumption of the coiners. Although I didn't find any of the characters particularly likeable, I was moved by the descriptions of poverty and found some of the violent scenes really shocking. All credit to the author, this book is incredibly well written.

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Gallows pole

Bloody excellent enjoyed every minute of this tale of my local area
Top do mate 👍😊

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A* narrator for top class story

loved it! extremely well researched piece of work and poetic in style. The narration is one of the best I've heard.

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Brilliant!

Although the times sound terribly hard, the story left me feeling nostalgic. Things were simple then, but definitely perilous. King David Hartley's flawed attempts at doing right for "his kind of folk" in the face of much bigger, more powerful entities strikes me as something that could be true of today. The struggle between the many poor and the few rich. My first audible book I've completed and my second will be another of Benjamin Myers.