A truly great trilogy.
It all began when I saw a TV report about the Black Country Living Museum and the women chainmaker’s strike of 1910, when they fought the chain masters for a living wage and paved the way for a National Minimum Wage – the phrase The White Slaves of England piqued my interest. That children from the age of about four worked in backyard chain workshops alongside their mothers, sometimes for twelve hours a day for a pittance, appalled me. That a family all worked these hours and still couldn’t afford to put food on the table was scandalous. Men grew fat and built huge mansions on the blacks of white slaves as well as black ones. That troops shot railway strikers in South Wales was startling.
Social history fascinates me, even down to the everyday words and phrases we use without thinking about…
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