by Michael Brown
A weighty and very thorough book on the fascinating mines of Dylife. This is a fully researched volume on the Dylife area and has been produced with help and major contributions from David James and Simon Hughes.
I enjoyed it; the book is written in a very engaging and immediate style and is full of very interesting photographs, plans and sketches. I found that the social and industrial history are particularly well described. There has, literally, been no stone left unturned. For mine explorers, there are extremely useful grid references and descriptions of the workings. Michael has spent much of his life exploring the mines and the area; his connection and obvious love of the place comes through in the writing. There are chapters at the end which are interesting- a series of walks around the area, and reminiscences of life on a small hill farm, which at first I thought to be spurious-until I started reading. Like the rest of the book, it was engaging and charming. Some have crisicised the chapter "explorers notes" but then some folk need to lighten up a little.
A rarely mentioned aspect of this book is that it is self-published, which can sometimes mean a self-indulgent, rambling and badly designed end product, printed on poor paper to save costs. This book is none of those things and has high production values throughout. It also contains writing which I suspect a publisher would have pruned to the detriment of the whole. So I must say that I have no hesitation in recommending this book. If you have not been there, you will want to after reading Michael's book.
Cost £19.95 in 2017
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