The Black Lamp

The Black Lamp

  • Hardback
By (author)  , Edited by  , Illustrated by 

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Product details

  • Hardback | 138 pages
  • 140 x 220mm
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 0192713566
  • 9780192713568

Review Text

The scene is a Lancashire village undergoing the change from cottage weaving to the great mills - a Silas Marner milieu where the local mill owner and gentleman Cranley reigns as a hated tyrant and a rich official's carriage forces a workers' funeral procession off the road into a ditch. Daniel Cregg, son of an independent weaver who was once part of the Luddite Black Lamp society, is for a time tempted to become a part of the class his father opposes. Apprenticed to the engineer at the mill, his love of machinery might almost have overcome his loathing for the dehumanization of its workers. But though Daniel escapes punishment for one impulsive act of sabotage, he is fired anyway - after learning that Cranley hoped to milk him for evidence of his father's political activity. So Daniel joins the great march on Manchester, faces the swords of the army brought in to attack the demonstrators, escapes with the help of a Black Lamp member and rescues his own sister from imprisonment in the dormitory at Cranley's mill. Eventually fate appears in the form of a demented workman who heaves Cranley into his own millrace for a thumping 19th century conclusion. For all the old conventions that Carter depends on - there's even a rhetorical afterword in which the narrator, Daniel, foresees an age of working class solidarity - he tells a good, fast paced tale and makes us feel the anger of these once proud cottagers caught in an inexorable economic crunch. (Kirkus Reviews)show more