In this rich and memorable evocation of the fictional South Riding of Yorkshire are the lives, loves and sorrows of the central characters. There is Sarah Burton, fiery young headmistress; Robert Carne of Maythorpe Hall, a councillor tormented by his own disastrous marriage; Jo Astell, a socialist fighting poverty and his own illness; and Mrs Beddows, the first woman Alderman of the district (like Winifred’s own mother). They are the people who work together in the council chambers and backrooms of local politics. Alongside them, however, are the people affected by their decisions.
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