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The Hired Man: Musical (Tallentire Trilogy 1) Paperback – 1 Oct 1986

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Oct 1986
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  • The Hired Man: Musical (Tallentire Trilogy 1)
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  • A Place in England (Tallentire Trilogy 2)
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  • Kingdom Come (Tallentire Trilogy 3)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 68 pages
  • Publisher: Samuel French Ltd; Acting ed edition (Oct. 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0573080712
  • ISBN-13: 978-0573080715
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.4 x 22 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 479,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

An intensely moving, deeply worked book...There is beauty, humour and a strong sense of reality in the descriptions of an ever-present landscape, whether rural or urban (Sunday Telegraph)

It is an extraordinary blend of delicacy and harsh simplicity which makes Melvyn Bragg a remarkable novelist...deeply unsetting and moving (The Times)

A magnificently strong and sinewy novel (Sunday Mirror) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Bragg's acclaimed story of one family's experience of the social and cultural upheaval of England as it moves into the twentieth century --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The Hired Hand by Melvyn Bragg is the story of John Tallentire, his wife, Emily, and their families. The novel is set in Cumbria in the north-west of England, starting in the 1890s and following the characters' fortunes until the 1920s.
John Tallentire is the hired man. He is a farm labourer who does as he is asked but is rewarded with mere subsistence. He accepts his lot. But then, in an attempt to improve his life, he becomes a coal miner in pits where the workings stretch out under the sea. The First World War comes, and goes, but not without wreaking its own dose of havoc on the family. John lives through attempts at trade union formation. And there is an accident in the coal mine that traps several miners.
And so John's life unfolds, working its way towards a goal one feels that he never chose. He is a hired man, a seller of labour in a market that, by definition, undervalues what he does. It is his lot to respond to the demands and commands of others. His own preferences, his own motivation must always be kept firmly of secondary importance because, as a hired man, he has no resources to apply to his own ends until he has satisfied the demands of others. And, inevitably, those demands are as great as his willingness to fulfil them. Consequently, the rewards of his labours are never enough to raise his life above satisfying the needs of today.
Emily, his wife, lives a dutiful life alongside him. They marry with their lives ahead of them and Emily makes do, happily, with her lot. The children come - and go, since not all of them survive. Neither do the surviving children seem to have much of a chance of their own to break out of the dependency that is their life.
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Format: Paperback
Set in Cumberland at the turn of the century this is the story of John Tallentire, and his struggle to escape the lowly status of being a labourer, or a "Hired Man". this book was powerful stuff which in the current economy doesn't seem at all far fetched.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting for background, historical and geographical. Not sure that I warmed to the characters but must have done sufficiently for me to send for the next in the trilogy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thank goodness I watched the documentary on Melvyn Bragg. I'd never visited his books and the programme prompted me to try. Now I am a fan.
The journey has begun.
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Format: Paperback
a very moving piece of musical theatre, the play is wonderfully written with a twist at the end that is not high budget and does not rely on shocking an audince. I am 18 and even though it is not on the same scale as other modern plays, it is a heart-warming tale of a love triangle that never seems tacky or over played.
I performed in this play and the songs were original, the script simple and beautiful. i suggest that if you can not see this play, get the sound track to give you some idea of the epic nature of this production.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As with all Melvyn Bragg books - it sits in the comfort zone, is an easy read and is satisfying. A good read to have between deeper books.
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