STEPHEN HAYNE by Albert Idell


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The author of Centennial Summer, etc. has again focussed his lens on period and regional background rather than on the characters that play their parts upon his stage. But this time his choice is quite a different sort,- the mining country around Pottswille, Pennsylvania, the days when the local Pennsylvania Dutch were bitterly resentful of the encroaching Irish, and intolerance flared into violent feuds. These were the days too when the groupings towards unionization resulted in the mine owners bringing in spies and using the local feuds to their own selfish ends. The sense of seething undercurrents, of men reaching out for freedom from industrial slavery, is very real. But the main characters never quite come to life:- Stephen Hayne, farmer boy turned miner, and almost spoiled by a bit of luck which made him feel that riches were more than his fellowman; Terry and Deirdre Shannon, Irish born brother and sister, who chose the privations and dangers entailed to stand by the cause of labor; Louise Morris, spoiled daughter of one of the owners, who toyed with the idea of roping Steve for her own; Gowen, president of the P. & R. R.R., that controlled the mines, who used the weaknesses and fears of others to his own ends, these are the lead figures in a story that stands on the merits of its parts rather than its whole.

Pub Date: Nov. 22nd, 1951
Publisher: Wm. Sloane