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 Kennedys'; 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)
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"interesting social history"
The narrative was at times just a little disjointed, but overall a hugely enjoyable listen.
"Outstanding glimps back at a bygone era"
Near the top, well written and read.
Related memories of mining and how dangerous it was
Yes if I had the time
Brilliant, a must listen to for any audible fan
"Best Audible read so far..."
Having recently listened to and enjoyed Death at the Priory by James Ruddick I was looking for a similar read and I stumbled on this pure gem!
I bought this title based on the reviews of both the printed and Audible versions although I was far from convinced the mining part would be of any interest to me... was I wrong.... indeed I was. This is my best audible purchase by a mile.
Having just finished it I feel a real sense of loss that it's over and i finished this book in 3 sittings incredibly researched and detailed Catherine Bailey has a great writing style weaving the variety of subject matter into a smooth, easy to follow and engrossing tale.
The narration of Gareth Armstrong is just brilliant and I'm picky... very picky... I find myself often irritated by the standard of narration with audiobooks but Mr Armstrong is very easy on the ear.
I bought this book with no idea about the family never having heard of them. It is a story that grips you as good as any novel. Indeed I had to keep reminding myself it was a Biography. The information about the condition of the miners and their living conditions is ver real and thee feuds in the aristoratic family is very true to life. I think the book would be useful to anyone studying social history and for the reader who reads for enjoyment I would certainly recomend it. Many of the people involveed in the story will be familiar to tmany people such as the Kennedy's Highly recomend
"Black Diamonds Shine"
Knowing people, personally, from this local area, as well as my family having been involved in this industry, yet elsewhere, I was committed to this book following an interview with Catherine Bailey.
This book reveals both tensions AND kindnesses from what has been, in the past, seen as 'two different sides of the tracks. Thereafter and therein, it reveals true stories of loves both requited and unrequited, largesse alongside pure poverty, simple well-intended charitable contribution on an enormous scale to both local and national causes combated by embittered, yet -at the time - respected politicians. It has bravery and self-sacrifice in time of war, love against the odds, disasters and happiness in, perhaps, un-equal measures. Yet it is TRUE, and should be read before Hollywood makes it an epic.
"What a Saga"
Great story really well read. I loved it. Took me back to my roots in the north of England
"A must listen"
This is the most fascinating book I have listened to in a long time. It compelled me to research the family, their ties to Ireland, where I live, and the fate of the house in Yorkshire. It should be made into a film. It reads like a novel but is fact. The reader was excellent and his ability to use the various accents added to the enjoyment. Can't recomend it enough!
"One of the best"
This is a fabulous story but comes to life by the narrator Gareth Armstrong; his attention to detail with all of the different accents brought the individuals of Wentworth to life. Fantastic purchase.
Wonderful, wonderful - masterly writing.
The story itself is good and very interesting. It gives you a good insight into the relationships between aristocracy and the working man while also describing the internal workings of an aristocratic family. However it flicks from person to person without explaining why and at points I got confused as to who we were talking about and also why we had just listened for an hour about someone to suddenly jump to someone else with no mention of the former. It does all come together in the end however I feel an explanation as to how each parts relates as you go along would be beneficial.
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