Fiction Books:

The Murleys of Cloghfune

Potato Farming to Copper Mining


Paperback / softback

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The Murleys of Cloghfune by Sue Hurley Myers
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As the Murleys of Cloghfune eked out a living growing potatoes in the rock-strewn land of the Beara Peninsula in the early 1800s, the first wave of industrialization was underway nearby. Wealthy English landowner, John Puxley, began excavating a rich lode of copper in the mountainous land just three miles north of Cloghfune. News of the mine opening prompted Padraigh Murley, age 35, and his son, protagonist, Denis Murley, age 13, to seek work there. Initially turned away because they were Irish, the mine overseer, Andrew Hall, realized the necessity of hiring the Irish. He convinced a reluctant Puxley to hire them for lower wages, as they awaited English workers to arrive from Cornwall, England. Padraigh's wife, Margaret, gave birth to a sixth child, Colm, at the same time the family was faced with a serious illness of three-year-old daughter, Bridget. Efforts to heal the sick child reflect conflicting views of fairy beliefs, midwifery and Catholic Church teachings. The costly dangers of copper mining and raising a family are experienced as the Murley family strove to survive and thrive in the midst of discrimination, hunger, illness, loss, births and deaths. Because of his relationship with hedge school schoolmaster, Thomas Tucker, Padraigh learned the power of education, and his lack of it. His insistence that Denis stop working at the mine and return to hedge school is met with rebellion. John Puxley and his English mine captains experience their own developmental trajectory, fraught with obstacles of operating a successful mine in a place as desolate and backward as the Beara.
Release date NZ
June 1st, 2018
3 Illustrations; Illustrations, black and white
Sue Hurley Myers
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