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Black Diamonds Audiobook

Black Diamonds: The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty

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Publisher's Summary

Wentworth is today a crumbling and forgotten palace in Yorkshire. Yet just 100 years ago it was the ancestral pile of the Fitzwilliams' - an aristocratic clan whose home and life were fuelled by coal mining.

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

What the Critics Say

"Extraordinary, fascinating, harrowing. A truly compelling read." (Sunday Telegraph)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (83 )
5 star
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Overall
4.1 (73 )
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Story
4.4 (73 )
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Performance


There are no reviews for this title yet.

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  • polly
    7/9/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "EXCELLENT book"

    Fascinating story - all the family interesting people, the social history of the time beautifully illustrated. Don't miss this book, it is an incredibly rewarding read/listen

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    5/5/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "felt like I was there"

    loved every second of this book. Each character centre to life and proved to be an excellent piece of social history. Felt transported through the decades never loosing any of its momentum. The quality of writing shone through

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • NICOLA J.
    4/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "absolutely brilliant. utterly compelling."

    can't recommend this more highly. fascinating and I couldn't turn it off. good narrator too

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • CrisH
    United Kingdom
    3/18/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enthralling"

    A totally engrossing story that kept my interest from beginning to end.

    There is just so much in the history of this house that I found this the shortest time I've taken to listen to an audiobook, I just couldn't stop listening. Just when you think nothing could top what you've just heard another twist occurs and the story turns off on a different tangent.
    So much of the last couple of hundred years of history of the UK Is tied up in the history of this house and family.
    I'm not going to talk about the details or the story but leave the listener to experience it for themselves.
    I would recommend this to anyone that has a passing interest in the recent history of this country..... A brilliant book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mitchell
    10/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Something for everyone"
    Any additional comments?

    Anyone with an interest in British social or political history, anyone who has ever looked in awe at a stately home and wondered about the life behind the façade and anyone who simply loves a great story will find Black Diamonds hard to put down. Gareth Armstrong narrates brilliantly and is a joy to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • M. Abbott
    london
    7/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "boring"
    What disappointed you about Black Diamonds?

    This is the most boring book I have ever tried to read. Dont buy it it will drive you mad. The author does not seem to understand the car actors she has created so how can we..


    What will your next listen be?

    Long walk to freedom. I have already read this wonderful book. But it is not a book you can read just once.Nelson Mandela RIP was a very complex man.I wonder if he knew how much of himself he gave away in this.


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Gareth Armstrong?

    No body as poor Gareth had to go with what he had.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Black Diamonds?

    I really have to say the whole book.


    Any additional comments?

    <br/>I can promise you I have never written such a negative review before

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • AReader
    London
    5/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "You couldn't make this up"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Black Diamonds to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version.


    What other book might you compare Black Diamonds to, and why?

    As it's factual, it's hard to say what to compare it to. I've read some other historical biographies recently, eg the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Catherine the Great. Human behaviour never ceases to fascinate.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I didn't really notice the performance, so it must have been ok. There's not much speech as it's all factual.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it's too long, but it was riveting.


    Any additional comments?

    The thing about this book is the story of these real people and their amazing behaviour. And in living memory too. Unbelievable. I kept laughing with disbelief and reading out bits to my poor husband.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Helen
    Northwich, United Kingdom
    1/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding glimps back at a bygone era"
    Where does Black Diamonds rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Near the top, well written and read.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Black Diamonds?

    Related memories of mining and how dangerous it was


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes if I had the time


    Any additional comments?

    Brilliant, a must listen to for any audible fan

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • RubyShoes
    Berkshire
    4/24/13
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • HildaW
    Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
    4/12/13
    Overall
    "Black Diamonds"

    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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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