Black Diamonds

Black Diamonds

The Rise and Fall of An English Dynasty

Book - 2008
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Catherine Bailey's Black Diamonds is an extraordinary tale of family feuds, forbidden love, civil unrest and the downfall of a mining dynasty.

Wentworth in Yorkshire was surrounded by 70 collieries employing tens of thousands of men. It is the finest and largest Georgian house in Britain andbelonged to the Fitzwilliam family.

It is England's forgotten palace which belonged to Britain's richest aristocrats. Black Diamonds tells the story of its demise: family feuds, forbidden love, class war, and a tragic and violent death played their part. But coal, one of the most emotive issues in twentieth century British politics, lies at its heart.
This is the extraordinary story of how the fabric of English society shifted beyond recognition in fifty turbulent years in the twentieth century.

'Magnificent . . . peels back the grand fa#65533;ade of Wentworth toreveal a family riven with fueds, mental illness and forbidden love' Tatler

'A compelling new history . . . fascinating insights into the dynasty that once ruled this Yorkshire roost' Daily Mail

'An aristocratic tale of epic proportions, this gripping novel cleverly interweaves interviews, letters and historical fact . . .Fascinating' Easy Living

Catherine Bailey read history at Oxford University. She is a successful, award-winning television producer and director, making a range of critically acclaimed documentary films inspired by her interest in twentieth century history. She is the author of Black Diamonds and The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery . She lives in West London.

Publisher: London, Eng. : Penguin Books, 2008, c2007
ISBN: 9780141019239
Branch Call Number: 942.081 FIT BAI
Characteristics: xxiii, 518 p. : ill. ; 20 cm


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May 02, 2015

Very interesting account
of the Fitzwilliams family and their wealth and downfall as well as their "downstairs" servants. But I thought the coal miners, their families, the union and fight for a living wage was the most interesting. The relationship between the Fitzwilliams and the miners was also meaningful. Strongly recommend for readers interested in any of these subjects.

Jan 13, 2011

I found this book to be riveting and hard to put down. The author captured the raw emotion, confusion and rebellion of the times accurately and kept the reader's rapt attention. Whether interested in history in general or coal mining history in particular, this is a must read. This the first book written by this author, who has produced documentaries. Her ability to research her subject is very evident.

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