Blincoe Book Reviews


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Blincoe’s Progress by Stuart Courtman

By Alsuffolk on 4 May 2012

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Superb book. Brings to life the appalling conditions for “working” children at the end of the 18th century. We follow the life of Robert Blincoe from London workhouse to a Derbyshire cotton mill. He is one of dozens of children given an apprenticeship, which is quite simply slavery. Always human, Stuart Courtman creates a vivid picture of the terrible working conditions and the abuse of young children and other lowly workers. The book draws together a variety of disparate characters from arrogant mill owners and supervisors to a philandering vicar. A great read.

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was a bit hesitant in buying this book because I had read “The Real Oliver Twist” which is about Robert Blincoe, and this book is a novel. However I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is based on the true story of so called “apprentices” including Robert Blincoe, who are virtually sold to mill owners in Derbyshire. Notably the infamous Litton Mill. It begins in 1796 when Blincoe is 12 years old. Children are shipped in from workhouses and are slaves in all but name. Cruelty and harsh conditions with long working hours are not glossed over in this tale. This is an interesting way to learn about the history of the northern cotton mills and their child operatives.