Black Diamonds

Black Diamonds

The Rise and Fall of An English Dynasty

Book - 2014
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"From the New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Rooms, the extraordinary true story of the downfall of one of England's wealthiest families. Fans of Downton Abbey now have a go-to resource for fascinating, real-life stories of the spectacular lives led by England's aristocrats. With the novelistic flair and knack for historical detail Catherine Bailey displayed in her New York Times bestseller The Secret Rooms, Black Diamonds provides a page-turning chronicle of the Fitzwilliam coal-mining dynasty and their breathtaking Wentworth estate, the largest private home in England. When the sixth Earl Fitzwilliam died in 1902, he left behind the second largest estate in twentieth-century England, valued at more than [ ] billion of today's money--a lifeline to the tens of thousands of people who worked either in the family's coal mines or on their expansive estate. The earl also left behind four sons, and the family line seemed assured. But was it? As Bailey retraces the Fitzwilliam family history, she uncovers a legacy riddled with bitter feuds, scandals (including Peter Fitzwilliam's ill-fated affair with American heiress Kick Kennedy), and civil unrest as the conflict between the coal industry and its miners came to a head. Once again, Bailey has written an irresistible and brilliant narrative history"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, New York : Penguin Books, 2014.
ISBN: 9780143126843
Characteristics: xxiii, 518 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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May 02, 2015

Very interesting account
of the Fitzwilliams family and their wealth and downfall as well as their "downstairs" servants. But I thought the coal miners, their families, the union and fight for a living wage was the most interesting. The relationship between the Fitzwilliams and the miners was also meaningful. Strongly recommend for readers interested in any of these subjects.

Jan 13, 2011

I found this book to be riveting and hard to put down. The author captured the raw emotion, confusion and rebellion of the times accurately and kept the reader's rapt attention. Whether interested in history in general or coal mining history in particular, this is a must read. This the first book written by this author, who has produced documentaries. Her ability to research her subject is very evident.


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