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The Gallows Pole (2017)

– tekijä: Benjamin Myers

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1324166,214 (4.41)26
An England divided. From his remote moorland home, David Hartley assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers to embark upon a criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history. They are the Cragg Vale Coiners and their business is 'clipping' - the forging of coins, a treasonous offence punishable by death.A charismatic leader, Hartley cares for the poor and uses violence and intimidation against his opponents. He is also prone to self-delusion and strange visions of mythical creatures. When excise officer William Deighton vows to bring down the Coiners and one of their own becomes turncoat, Hartley's empire begins to crumble. With the industrial age set to change the face of England forever, the fate of his empire is under threat. Forensically assembled from historical accounts and legal documents, The Gallows Pole is a true story of resistance that combines poetry, landscape, crime and historical fiction, whose themes continue to resonate. Here is a rarely-told alternative history of the North.… (lisätietoja)
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näyttää 4/4
The author shines a new light on an important late 18th century (illegal) economic activity in and around Halifax, Yorkshire. The story concerns "King" David Hartley and his intrepid coiners or clippers, who collect coins to clip pieces off and melt down into new coins. This is the about the only economic activity at the time which produced a living income for illiterate families under a very feudal system. What legal work relating to hand looms there was, is under the shadow of the industrial revolution of powered looms and even worse working conditions for most of the population, allied to industrial pollution. Grim times indeed. ( )
  edwardsgt | Sep 18, 2020 |
It is a land where those in charge have no interest in you until you threaten their income and power, David Hartley is drawing together the local people to assist him in his master plan, coin clipping. He looks after those in need and is not afraid to crush opponents and as his power grows, he declares himself King. This fraud on an epic scale has been noted in London and excise men under the command of William Deighton are dispatched to ensure that justice is served and equilibrium is restored. Not everyone is happy in King David's court though, there are some who think that he is too greedy and has not given what they feel they are due. It is through these cracks in Hartley's organisation that Deighton begins to make his move. The power play between the self-proclaimed king and the Crown is set.

He listened to the sound of the water and the way it sang over the smoothed rocks of flint and grit. The way it danced down through the woods like a child.

This is the first of Benjamin Myers books that I have read and I first came across him and this book when Robert Macfarlane tweeted the very arresting cover. I had been meaning to read it for ages but my library had not got a copy on the shelf as it was always on loan. Myers has based this tale of rebellion in the West Riding area of Yorkshire on the true story of the Cragg Vale Coiners. He has written a thrilling historical tale with criminals, government men determined to enforce the law and the innocent people caught in the battle to control their way of life as the industrial revolution begins to bite This is a book that is deeply rooted in the landscape of the 1770's and what lifts this above other historical novels is the way he has captured the smells, sights, mud and hardship of just trying to make a living at that time. The prose is a delight to read, poetic, lyrical and visceral, it grips you and drags you into this tale. A brilliant book. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
I don’t know to whom I should recommend this book. It’s definitely a captivating read, well at least after the first few pages, but it’s also a heavy read, and dark at times. If you’re interested, be warned. This book isn’t always easy to stomach, but it rewards the reader with a lush landscape of fascinating descriptions and at least I am a sucker for detail. I just love the power with which the details of this story enveloped me, but I understand that such a level of detail might not be for everyone, and is often a point of contention if discuss books with other readers.

I think if I had to finish this review with a sentence, I would just repeat the advice of the bookseller I bought this book from almost two years ago in London, “It’s a good choice.”

For the full review: https://chwiggys-world.de/2020/01/18/myersbenjamin-thegallowspole/ ( )
  chwiggy | Jan 17, 2020 |
Good but could have been better. The tale of the Calder Vale Coiners. People who clipped gold coins in order to make r]=forgeries from the shavings. A fictionalised version of a real tale of real people. Mr Myers tells it well. He describes their lives and the surrounding moorland and weaves in an element of mysticism and magic. But his wish to stay true to the memories of the people brings in an irksome element of style. Too many long, long lists of names who play no other part than to stand and listen. It distracts from a more common tale of good versus evil in a Robin Hood sort of way. ( )
  Steve38 | Dec 15, 2019 |
näyttää 4/4
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For my sister Kathryn, my brother Richard and their families.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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An England divided. From his remote moorland home, David Hartley assembles a gang of weavers and land-workers to embark upon a criminal enterprise that will capsize the economy and become the biggest fraud in British history. They are the Cragg Vale Coiners and their business is 'clipping' - the forging of coins, a treasonous offence punishable by death.A charismatic leader, Hartley cares for the poor and uses violence and intimidation against his opponents. He is also prone to self-delusion and strange visions of mythical creatures. When excise officer William Deighton vows to bring down the Coiners and one of their own becomes turncoat, Hartley's empire begins to crumble. With the industrial age set to change the face of England forever, the fate of his empire is under threat. Forensically assembled from historical accounts and legal documents, The Gallows Pole is a true story of resistance that combines poetry, landscape, crime and historical fiction, whose themes continue to resonate. Here is a rarely-told alternative history of the North.

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