Bragg's acclaimed story of one family's experience of the social and cultural upheaval of England as it moves into the twentieth century
Set in Cumbria and covering the period from 1898 to the early twenties, this is the powerful saga of John Tallentire, first farm labourer, then coal miner, and his wife Emily. John's struggle to break free from the humiliating status of a 'hired man' is the theme of a novel which has been hailed as a classic of its kind - as meticulously detailed as a social document, as evocative as the writings of Hardy and Lawrence.
An intensely moving, deeply worked book - Sunday Telegraph
It is an extraordinary blend of delicacy and harsh simplicity which makes Melvyn Bragg a remarkable novelist. The perception with which he traces the currents of feeling between John and Emily, the gathering and receding of emotion, have a cumulative power of enormous conviction, a steady hardening of experience which is deeply unsetting and moving - The Times
A magnificently strong and sinewy novel - Sunday Mirror
Melvyn Bragg is a writer and broadcaster. His novels include The Hired Man, for which he won the Time/Life Silver Pen Award, Without a City Wall, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, The Soldier's Return, winner of the WHSmith Literary Award, A Son of War and Crossing the Lines, both of which were longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, A Place in England, which was longlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize, and most recently Grace and Mary. He has also written several works of non-fiction, the most recent being The Book of Books about the King James Bible. He lives in London and Cumbria.