SONG OF THE EARTH by Alexander Cordell


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After this year's very contemporary chiller (The Deadly Eurasian) Mr. Cordell returns to nineteenth century Wales, the scene of this earlier Rape of a Fair Country, to trace the dissolution of a close and resilient family eventually destroyed by the violent labor conflicts in the mining villages. The Evans family for some time after the mother's death manages to stay together, with adequate food, shelter and some prospects for the future, as the father, Mostyn, finally owns and operates his own coal-carrying barge on the canals. But the oppressive practices of the mine owners, exploiters of underpaid, overworked employees, of women and children, plus violent competition among union supporters themselves, create a climate of deadly rivalry and tension. Stability is a luxury. Seen through the eyes of Bryn, the youngest Evans son, are moments of terror but also within a boisterous household, joy--a bright lively trip on the Evans' barge to a new home; evenings with Shakespeare declaimed by an older sister (while bombs are tested in the basement); weddings and courtings. In spite of the deaths and desertions, the terrible strike, starvation and the horror of mine disasters, Bryn at the close looks forward to the coming generation and a new day for his countrymen. Folk travail and high spirits above and below green valleys--with a strong flavor of leek, which takes some getting used to.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1969
Publisher: Simon & Schuster