LBC Medusa – Black Diamonds – Write Up

LBC Medusa 

Date:  Wednesday 12th of August 2015
Time:  7:30pm
Address: 8-10 Town Street, Horsforth, Leeds 




Huge thanks to Simon (@srjf) for the write up! You can read more of his blog HERE!


Wentworth is in Yorkshire and was surrounded by 70 collieries employing tens of thousands of men. It is the finest and largest Georgian house in Britain andbelonged to the Fitzwilliam family.

It is England’s forgotten palace which belonged to Britain’s richest aristocrats. Black Diamonds tells the story of its demise: family feuds, forbidden love, class war, and a tragic and violent death played their part. But coal, one of the most emotive issues in twentieth century British politics, lies at its heart.

This is the extraordinary story of how the fabric of English society shifted beyond recognition in fifty turbulent years in the twentieth century.

black diamonds5 members were present with 4 having read the book.

Discussion topics included:-

· general

    • non-fiction vs fiction as book club choices
      • general happiness at this selection
    • how poetry was not to be selected for the book club

· from the book

    • great houses
    • jet set
    • wealthy
    • wars
    • mines and miners
    • unions
    • poor
    • poverty
    • Americans and the Kennedys
    • Politics
    • Monarchy
    • Paternalistic employers
    • Brutal employers
    • Religion
    • Inheritance, heirs and ancestry
    • Nationalisation
    • Secrecy amongst the upper classes

· writing style of the book

  • Lots of to-ing and fro-ing
  • A good read
  • A good way of learning history
  • Cliff-hangers


Scores out of 5 for writing style and storyline

4, 3.5, 7.5

3, 4, 7

3, 4, 7

4, 4, 8

Additional Resources

  1. Wentworth Woodhouse official web site
  2. Wentworth Woodhouse Wikipedia entry
  3. BBC documentary about Wentworth Woodhouse:
  4. Author interview
  5. Desert Island Discs of the-then Minister of Fuel and Power, Mannie Shinwell, who ordered the grounds of Wentworth Woodhouse to be dug up for opencast mining (video).
  6. BBC set for new costume drama based on the real-life family history of a clan whose house is so grand it makes Downton Abbey look like a bedsit (Daily Mail, 23 August 2015)


For further details, please email me at or tweet me @LeedsBookClub!

Contact the bar on @MedusaBar

And feel free to let us know your thoughts using #LBCMedusa!


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