Saturday, February 11, 2006

A Place Called FREEDOM

Now, to build back my good name, ahem!
I finished reading “A Place called FREEDOM” by Ken Follett. It is a very good book. It starts in Scotland about 1770, give or take a few years, at a coal miner’s area. The coalminers were, in most cases the property of the lords/property owners. Shortly after childbirth the parents would have a Christening at the local church, which the local lord controlled what was preached and what was said. At the Christening the parents would dedicate their new child to the lord. Then, it was legal – the newborn was the property of the owner of the property and coalmine until he turned 21 of age, but it was an unwritten understanding that the person would be the property of the leading family the rest of his/her life.

And what added insult to injury, after having the people under them work like animals just to keep the local wealthy family wealthy, they looked down on them like the poor people did not have enough intellect to have good judgment, morals, or taste.

The protagonist of the novel, Mack, had something to say about that. He broke away from that tradition and became a dock worker in London, which he organized a labor organization. And, by a strange combination of coincidences and circumstances, Mack winds up in American (Virginia) as an indenture servant.

I thought the book was an excellent way go gain some knowledge of some details of history that did not make it in the history books about the settling of America and the laws of England designed to keep the rich rich and the poor poor.

A few little historical odd-facts that I happen to remember, occurred in the book, so I think I can believe that the rest of the history-related things in the book happened. Ken Follett must have did a fantastic job researching.

The fictional story was just a vehicle to move from one time to another, and from one place to another to observe its local laws and customs. Action, the fiction part, was lame, in a way.

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