A Swarm of Bees
“I must now set forth for you, my new-born son, some few pieces of the history of our family so that you may know how you came into this world and be appraised of the worth of your kin, so that when my time is come these events shall be not forgot…”
A common name, but an uncommon story.
This novel tells the stories of five generations of the Smith family of Lancashire. It moves in time from the infamous witchcraft trials of the 17th Century, through the torture of the English Civil War, the coming of the canals and the creeping tide of industrialisation, to the General Strike of 1926 and its aftermath.
It follows the family's lives in Ormskirk, Lathom, Dalton, Windle, Parr, Haydock and across the sea in Ireland, and their changing fortunes, from yeoman farmers to labourers and miners.
Each story reveals a distinctive voice and a unique character. The common thread of the tales they tell is the story of the impact of great events on the lives of ordinary people.