Sunday, 29 June 2008

A Book

Coal, An Anthology of Mining
(Seren, 1997, Ed.Tony Curtis)

You know you have those books you put subconsciously at one end of the shelf, closest to the door, so if there's a fire, you think twice about leaving them behind?

Wilfred Owen. Richard Llewellyn. D H Lawrence. Dennis Potter. Dannie Abse (had tea with him once, at 16. Talked about how do you know when to throw work away, and when to keep it, in case...) George Orwell. Jack Jones. Philip Larkin. ach, too many to list.

Foreword by Tony Benn:
...this book.. may tell us more about the country in which we live than the boring gossip about 'people at the top' who hover about but contribute nothing to the development of national life.

Amazon say they havent got it, but the book is
Book available from the publisher. HERE

From their website:

Coal has been one of the dominant forces in British society. Its presence has resulted in the building of villages, towns and docks, roads, railways and canals. It fuelled the Industrial Revolution, powered the navies, Merchant and Royal, of the British Empire, and made the fortunes of the colliery owners and their investors. Coal also provided jobs; at its height the industry employed three quarters of a million colliers alone.

These men and their leaders were at the forefront of trade unionism, often as a result of oppression and adversity. Their communities, unified by coal, were marked by their solidarity and radicalism. For the first time the literature of mining has been gathered together in a book which celebrates the industry while it still exists.

Contributors include miners themselves and writers moved or inspired by the industry. The writing reflects the good times and the bad, the working conditions, living conditions, and aspirations of a people with an indomitable spirit. It charts also a changing, and ultimately, declining industry.

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