An engrossing picture of a class problem, an interesting presentation of a dual conflict, one might say an English version of Germinal, less violent, more authentic. The setting is mainly a mill town in Yorkshire, and the story traces the life of a boy of exceptional talent who starts as doffer in a mill and goes to art school at night. He wins a scholarship and with that comes the start of the conflict between his background and his vocation, his loyalties and his ideals. Success in London and return to the mill town and the love of the daughter of the mill owner, only to be thrust back into his former setting by the discovery that he is the illegitimate son of the mill owner. He marries a girl of the mills -- the marriage heads for disaster -- and she dies in childbirth. Ultimately, he discovers that the only way he can help his class is through his art -- but circumstaneus block his carrying through to any conclusion. Vivid -- realistic -- told with understanding and sympathy and depth of feeling, which takes off the curse of the ""message"" and makes it a significant and moving book. Something of the Bentley market -- slightly left-wingish.