Many of you are familiar with Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “The Secret Garden.” It was written in 1911. A few years ago, my sister gave me a couple of old books. One I had read before - and if I like a book, I’ll reread - many times. The other one I had never seen before. It was written by Frances Hodgson Burnett - in 1877. It is not a children’s book. The setting is in a mining community in England, where children as young as 10 work in the mines. The main character is a “pit girl” (women and girls who work at the mouth of the mine pit). I have no idea what they do (or did - mines are certainly no longer run like they were then). Another primary character is a young engineer who is working with the mining company in the process of opening new areas in the mine. He is fighting with his employers to improve the safety in the mine. A young curate and a minister’s daughter also play a large part in the book. The two of them start a “night school” - there is no public education, and none of the mining families learn to read, unless they want to, and have the opportunity to attend a “neet skoo” - as they say in their Lancashire dialect.
Edit: the title of the book is “That Lass of Lowrie’s”.