In cramped and Sooty Caverns is not a traditional study of industrial history. It adopts as its framework the portrait of nail-makers and nail-making created by Francis Brett Young across nine novels set between 1800 and 1930. The book identifies and examines the sources which Young used, as well as others dealing with the themes he addressed, thus establishing the historical reliability of his account. This is a very human portrait – real people, real places, real life, which allows the voice of the past to speak. In engaging with the story and with one unanswered question, the reader is invited to hear what that voice is saying.
The author, Dr Michael Hall is President of the Black Country Society and Chariman of the Francis Brett Young Society.
His previous publications include Who Knows But It May Continue?, Smethwick Hall Boys’ School: The History, Mr Dank’s Gift, Francis Brett Young, Dark and Wicked Place, Published Works of Francis Brett Young, Tilton – Francis Brett Young’s Quniton and Bourne College, Quinton, Birmingham. In 2013 he received a British Association for Local History Personal Achievement Award.
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