Published: 28/08/2017
ISBN: 9781788035293
Format: Paperback

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About the Author

Beatrice Parvin is a teacher, dancer and writer. She toured Europe and the Middle East with Balkan band, ‘Mukka’ and North African musicians, ‘Al Andalus’. ‘Captain Swing and the Blacksmith’, inspired... read more

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Captain Swing and the Blacksmith
by Beatrice Parvin

Beatrice Parvin’s debut novel Captain Swing and the Blacksmith, is set in the West Country in the 1840s, a time when the area was in the grip of poverty. It’s haunted by memories of the Swing Riots 10 years before, when labourers caused extensive damage in a desperate attempt to increase starvation wages. Sue Trindall, the protagonist, is a character shaped by the trauma of the riots and the devastating effects that the riots had on her community.

Sue, a 17-year-old laundry presser, lives in Amesbury with her alcoholic father, a man known for his talent for persuasion. When Sue’s father is asked by protestors to write threatening notes signed ‘Captain Swing’, his family’s fortunes are changed forever. In order to earn money after her mother’s death, Sue starts selling buttons. One day, after finding a pair of pearl buttons embedded in mud outside the Town Hall, her fortunes start to look up. The attention of an apprentice blacksmith, Jack Straker, promises a brighter future. But when Jack abandons Sue in favour of her wealthy friend Eleanor, and she loses her precious buttons as a result of her father’s actions, Sue leave Amesbury, pregnant and devastated. And thereby begins her fight for survival...

Beatrice’s book takes inspiration from British folk music and tells the story of working class people through the songs that they wrote and sang. Captain Swing and the Blacksmith will appeal to fans of historical fiction and those with a local interest in the West Country.

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Thursday 25th May

THE IVY HOUSE Nunhead, SE 15 3BE

'Captain Swing and the Blacksmith' is showcasing the traditional and contemporary songs that inspired the novel. The book will come with an album - a soundtrack that illuminates the writing...

Folk Opera Comes to Ivyhouse! ‘Captain Swing and the Blacksmith’ a riotous tale of passion and tragedy is brought to life by the spellbinding voice of award-winning folk singer, Emmie Ward, Gili Orbach, accordion maestro Pete Watson, and the fiddle wizardry of Frank Biddulph. Traditional favourites and contemporary folk tunes all topped and tailed by the silky singer-songwriter Rebecca Hollweg. The debut novel by Beatrice Parvin, praised for the “musicality and lyricism of its language” is rapturously showcased on the Ivyhouse Stage.

Admission: £5


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