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Publisher's Summary

Fans of Downton Abbey now have a go-to resource for fascinating, real-life stories of the spectacular lives led by England's aristocrats. With the novelistic flair and knack for historical detail that Catherine Bailey displayed in her New York Times best seller The Secret Rooms, Black Diamonds provides a page-turning chronicle of the Fitzwilliam coal-mining dynasty and their breathtaking Wentworth estate, the largest private home in England.

When the sixth Earl Fitzwilliam died in 1902, he left behind the second largest estate in 20th-century England, valued at more than three billion dollars in today's money - a lifeline to the tens of thousands of people who worked either in the family's coal mines or on their expansive estate. The earl also left behind four sons, and the family line seemed assured. But was it? As Bailey retraces the Fitzwilliam family history, she uncovers a legacy riddled with bitter feuds, scandals, and civil unrest, as the conflict between the coal industry and its miners came to a head.

©2007 Catherine Bailey (P)2014 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A Good Listen

What did you like best about this story?

One, great presentation of the facts of England's history. Of the 20th century
Two, The reader did A great performance.
Three The author did a great job laying out the downfall of the English aristocracy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • Milwaukee, WI, United States
  • 04-30-18

Could use a good editor...

A little long and wordy. Summary not accurate. More about coal mining than the family. A little inconsistent with sequence and generations. A bit difficult to follow the names and people in some cases. OK but did not feel I learned much.

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Everything changes but stays the same

Excellent glimpse of history. The exploitation of the minors and their families is terribly sad. The human race has always had and will always have those who are all to eager to exploit others for their own selfish desires.