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Batty Green
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Batty Green

By Dennis Brickles
ISBN 978-1-85756-725-0
Category Historical
February 2010


 In 1869, the people of the Upper Ribble Valley enjoy a simple and quiet life, farming within this remote Yorkshire dale - that is until the navvies arrive. Thousands of manual labourers and their families are housed in the makeshift camp of Batty Green while they work to construct the Settle-Carlisle railway, and upon their arrival it is clear that farm life will never be the same again.
The residents of Batty Green drink excessively and brawl frequently and for the local farmer's wife, Emily Wright, this raw energy is startling. She is unnerved by their arrival and the disturbance they bring with them. The frustration of her own difficult marriage reaches a crescendo that draws her closer and closer to the disorganised and liberated lives of some of those that live at Batty Green. However, Emily knows that when the construction work has been completed, Batty Green will be dismantled and the equilibrium of farm life will be restored. Does Batty Green bring the fulfillment she yearned for? Has too much changed to go back to the simple life of farming?

Author's Biography

Dennis Brickles was born in Bristol in 1947. After graduating from York University, he began a career in teaching. While working in the Yorkshire Dales, he co-wrote a musical play to commemorate the centenary of the building of the Settle-Carlisle Railway..


 Â£10.95  Paperback

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Reader Comments

An emotive subject, well researched and written with such sensitivity that you feel you know the characters intimately. I look forward to more of the same.
Great book
Growing up near Batty Green gave me an extra perpective to this enjoyable, well written and page turning historical novel. I implore others to pick it up and start reading..don't be put off by the rather bland cover!
The plot and sub-plots, the historical accuracy, the fine appreciation of landscape and clear understanding of rural communities,all mean that this tale is a real winner; one that would make a great T.V.series.
An enthralling read...characters drawn with conviction, with insightful narrative.
Love this book . It was as i was there.
Batty Green, next to the Ribble Head Viaduct, is a bleak and lonely place today with little sign of the frenetic activity that surrounded the building of the railway. Dennis Brickles has captured the scene and portrayed the characters involved with sensitivity and colour. A very good read and I look forward to the sequel!
The landscape of this dales area is beautifully evoked and the historical elements of the book are well researched. There is a great sense of the repercussions to the lives of ordinary people that occur through a major technological event such as the building of a railway. A strong narrative, well written.
From the first page I was completely immersed in the world of Batty Green. I loved the characters and couldn’t wait to dive into their lives. The author described the period beautifully and in such vivid detail - it gave me a real sense of life in the area during those tough times. I have connections with Yorkshire and a real interest in the area – and now feel I understand much more about its past. I wouldn’t normally read historical novels but this came so highly recommended by a friend I couldn’t resist. I look forward to the next installment from Dennis Brickles. Top marks!!!
This is an excellent book. It has been well-researched and holds the attention from beginning to end. The use of language and characterisation ae equally excellent. It certainly deserves my vote.
As a family member, perhaps one of the best comments I can make about Batty Green is the fact that within a few pages I had forgotten about my own relationship with the author. The book is immaculate in detail - both historical and personal, has a thoroughly engaging plot and is driven by a host of vibrant and engaging characters. I absolutely recommend it, regardless of whether you like or know anything about railways, Yorkshire or navvies. Remember, it made me forget that my dad was even involved in it!
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