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Strike for a Kingdom (Honno's Welsh Women's Classics) Paperback – 24 Mar 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 162 pages
  • Publisher: HONNO WELSH WOMEN'S PRESS; 2 edition (24 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906784205
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906784201
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 1.2 x 18.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,027,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
Although this has been reissued by the Welsh press Honno, with an introduction by scholar Veronica John, I read the only copy available in American libraries, the original 1959 printing, with a curious cover. A series of blurbs by "famous writers," among them Norman Thomas, Jacques Barzun, and Eleanor Roosevelt comprises the image, while a drawing of stylized skeletal miners marching at night takes up the entire back jacket design. The inside promises a mix of mystery and mischief. This 1959 edition was Gallie's first novel, and as <em>Time</em> magazine summed it up in a favorable reception the following year: "The language has a strong, sly wit, and the story--of a troubled, strikebound village--is told with force and skill. Welsh-born Novelist Gallie is able to give her sympathy to the strikers without the posturing of protest literature, and to evoke the gamy folk flavor of her villagers without being cute or condescending."

The anonymous reviewer's correct: this novel carries itself out of the whodunit genre by its carefully composed sentences, its ability to shift mid-conversation among its multi-dimensional characters from their own indirectly conveyed perspectives to an omniscient voice that's both gentle and severe. Gallie keeps this tone, much easier to describe than fulfill, throughout this short account, which somehow manages to offer depth and density without feeling labored, self-important, or stylized as it tells us about a few of the inhabitants of a splendidly rendered, yet carefully delineated, Welsh village during the 1926 General Strike all over Britain.

A couple of samples. D.J. Williams, a real-life poet, here enters the action as a rather unwilling magistrate and fellow striker. He.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was just so well described - an underlying who-dunnit that allowed a build up of details of the characters and their view points. Snapshots of a small community in difficult times, with humour throughout.
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Format: Paperback
A novel set against a background of a village where the colliers are on strike could be on the grim side, especially as there is a murder and a clandestine burial too! However, the gentle and affectionate humour of the writing, and the authentic feel of the dialogue, ensured that this reader had a happy afternoon with 'Strike for a Kingdom'. Looking back, there are some aspects of the story where I might have wanted to say 'Hang on, would this have happened like this?' However, so convincingly is the story told, that these moments occur after finishing the story. I enjoyed it more than 'The Rape of the Fair Country', a novel about nineteenth century South Wales that I also had in my Christmas stocking. It would make a very good film for TV.
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Format: Paperback
I loved this book. Gallie creates wonderfully vivid characters with quick, light brush strokes. The humour had me chuckling to myself frequently and made what could have been a rather downbeat story - murder, death, hardship, miner's strike - a really good engaging read. Also an intriguing insight into how small Welsh communities used to operate.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This novel should be as well known as How Green Was My Valley and the Alexander Cordell trilogy about 19th century Welsh valleys life. The sort of writing to be read slowly and savoured.
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