Black Diamonds: The Rise And Fall Of A Great English Dynasty

Paperback | April 29, 2008

byCatherine Bailey

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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 façade 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.

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From the Publisher

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 ...

Catherine Bailey is the author of Black Diamonds. She read history at Oxford University and 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 lives in West London.

other books by Catherine Bailey

SECRET ROOMS
SECRET ROOMS

Paperback|Sep 15 2015

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 5.1 × 1.4 × 1.36 inPublished:April 29, 2008Publisher:Penguin UkLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0141019239

ISBN - 13:9780141019239

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Customer Reviews of Black Diamonds: The Rise And Fall Of A Great English Dynasty

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Outstanding I found the entire book to be an extraordinary read. Based upon historical fact, several chapters pertain to the unbelievable staggering wealth of the English aristocrats during the 1900’s, along with a heartbreaking depiction of the wretchedness and extreme hardships of the coal miners and their families. The Fitzwilliams’ who owned the Wentworth stately home are a fascinating family who also suffered from disappointments and tragedies throughout most of their lives. It was such a compelling read and one of the finest books I have ever read. Highly recommended and definitely a five star plus.
Date published: 2013-02-02

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Editorial Reviews

“While this will be an easy sell to Downton Abbey fanatics, this fascinating history is highly recommended to anyone who loves family gossip and mystery.” – Library Journal “Gossipy bits…keep the reading lively. The real value of this work is the recounting of the ends of two classes, the lower and the very upper.” – Kirkus Reviews“As she did in 2013’s “The Secret Rooms,” Bailey performed deep research to produce this lucid account. And she did so in spite of the secretive Fitzwilliams’ propensity for destruction of their private papers. But despite that major handicap, she draws on remaining documents and numerous interviews with surviving Fitzwilliam relatives and their servants. The result is narrative history of high caliber, written by a woman who knows a good story — and how to tell it in a manner accessible to the general reader.” – The Richmond Times Dispatch “The goingson at Wentworth are inevitably reminiscent of the fictional Downton Abbey now in its fifth season on Masterpiece Theatre, but they are at once grander, more sordid and generally harder-edged… A jolly good read.” – The Washington Times  “Black Diamonds has the great gift of bringing to life personal histories…wonderfully paced and wholly satisfying.” – Kate Atkinson, New York Times bestselling author of Life After Life “Engrossing…Bailey covers a wide canvas with panache” – The Times Literary Supplement   “Extraordinary, fascinating, harrowing. A truly compelling read” – The Sunday Telegraph “Brilliant, gripping . . . one heck of a good read and will keep you bolt upright all night” – The Daily Telegraph