• Black Diamonds

  • The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty
  • By: Catherine Bailey
  • Narrated by: Gareth Armstrong
  • Length: 15 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 01-21-09
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Ltd
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.1 (88 ratings)

Regular price: $42.63

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Publisher's Summary

Wentworth is today a crumbling and forgotten palace in Yorkshire. Yet just 100 years ago it was the ancestral pile of the Fitzwilliams' - an aristocratic clan whose home and life were fuelled by coal mining. This is the story of their spectacular decline: of inheritance fights; rumours of a changeling and of lunacy; philandering earls; illicit love; war heroism: a tragic connection to the Kennedys'; violent deaths: mining poverty and squalor; and a class war that literally ripped apart the local landscape.
©2008 Catherine Bailey (P)2008 Oakhill Publishing Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"Extraordinary, fascinating, harrowing. A truly compelling read." ( Sunday Telegraph)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Robyn on 03-31-13

gripping tale

This book has everything - mystery, interesting characters, political and social history, juxtaposition of obscene wealth and obscene poverty, the family at the centre of the story and the players who enter and leave the scene are all fascinating. And it is all true! The narration is masterful: Gareth Armstrong's voice and pace are a perfect match for the tale, and his different tones and accents for the different characters are a welcome added dimension. I bought Black Diamonds after enjoying Catherine Bailey's, 'The Secret Rooms: A True Gothic Mystery'. I would find it hard to choose between the two, both top reads!

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Teadrinker on 11-30-14

Historic Paradigm-shift

This book is a new type of history - looking behind the curtain. Instead of reinterpreting monuments of known documents, the author is going one level away from the subject and the view is much, much better. These are histories of society and social trends, of groups instead of individuals. Wonderful book. I want more. I love this new type of history.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Colin on 02-19-09

Brilliant!

Having been a member of Audible for a couple of years i can easily say this is the best listen so far. It concerns the fortunes of a coal family who own the impressive Wentworth House.
The true story of this family is incredible, through birth, changelings, war and tradgedy, you couldn't make parts of it up. The story of Edgar Bower is heartbreaking. Get this book now, you won't stop talking about it. An Amazing book!

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32 of 32 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Rebecca on 02-05-10

I want more...

Oh, I so loved this book, I didn't want it to end. I thought it was going to be a straight retelling of the family dynasty, but it's so much more. The whole social upheaval of the pre and post first world war years were new to me and the way Catherine Bailey weaves the story delicately from working class to aristocracy, from miners and their emerging unions to government was pure joy. Don't be put off by thinking it will be a heavy tome. Just when you have reached the limit of government shenanigans against poorly paid miners, Catherine sneaks back to the Wentworth intrigues, hints of illegitimate children, destroyed marriage lines... and poor Kick Kennedy's dreadful hardline mother. This book kept me running on the treadmill so long , it should be on prescription from your doctor for it's calorie burning potential.

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22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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