Black Diamonds: The Rise and Fall of a Great English Dynasty by Catherine Bailey soon to be presented for sale on the wonderful BookLovers of Bath web site!
Published: London: Viking, 2007, Hardback in dust wrapper.
2nd impression. Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Genealogical Tables; From the cover: In the twentieth century the 6th Earl Fitzwilliam was one of Britains richest aristocrats. During his lifetime his wealth increased a thousand times over; when he died his family spent £45,000 equipping his servants in mourning livery for his funeral.
He lived at Wentworth House one of the finest Georgian houses in England. Situated five miles outside Sheffield, it is still the largest private house in Europe. It has 1,000 windows, 365 rooms and five miles of passageways. Few have heard of it and fewer still have seen it it is Englands forgotten palace.
Wentworth House lies at the core of this extraordinary story. Shrouded now in mystery, it was owned for 200 years by the Fitzwilliam family whose great fortune was built on coal.
At the dawn of the twentieth century Wentworth stood at the centre of the South Yorkshire coalfield, a jewel in a crown of poverty and grime. Ringed by scores of collieries where tens of thousands of miners were employed, it was a symbol of one of the bleakest statistics of the time: 88 per cent of the population owned nothing, 1 per cent owned two thirds of the nations wealth. In the struggle to set right this social injustice, Britains one million miners were destined to become the driving force.
Set in the turbulent first fifty years of the twentieth century, when the fabric of English society changed beyond recognition, Black Diamonds tells the story of the unravelling of one of Britains wealthiest dynasties. Family feuds, forbidden love, class war and a tragic and violent death played their part, but coal the mines and the miners one of the most emotive subjects in twentieth-century British history, lies at the heart of the dynastys demise.
Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Gently bruised at the head of the spine and the top corners of the boards with commensurate wear to the dust wrapper which is a little spotted on the verso. Text complete, clean and tight.
Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XXIII] 518 pages. Index. Bibliography. 9½” x 6¼”.