Book Review-The Chainmakers' Daughter: The White Slaves of England -Rebecca Bryn | Miki's Hope

Book Review-The Chainmakers' Daughter: The White Slaves of England -Rebecca Bryn

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Women have never been paid equal pay for the same job as men--actually we still aren't. Once you read this book you will realize just how far we have actually come from the early 1900's in England. Although the town is fictional as are the inhabitants of that town--how they lived was real.

It took a lot of guts and praying when the women decided to strike. Mary Macarthur (who was actually a real person) lobbied and rallyed these women to stand up and fight. The people in this town lived in abject poverty--barely had enough to eat-the conditions they lived under will make you want to cry. They were kept in poverty by the owners of the chain making businesses. Something happens to Rosie but you will have to read this book to know what it is.

The ending is a happy one--mostly. I already purchased the 2nd in this series--that should tell you how much I really loved this historical fiction based on fact!

About the Book: (from Amazon)

“Some make chains. Some wear them.” Rosie Wallace survives on three slices of bread a day. Scarred by flame and metal, she makes her life as her ancestors have: making chains for the rich chain master, Matthew Joshua. There is no hope for a better future. No hope even for a green vegetable on the table. Her life will be making chains, marrying Jack, the boy she loves, and babies every year. But when an assault by the chain master’s son threatens the very fabric of her tenuous existence, Rosie finds the courage and the reason to fight for her own survival and the lives of her family and neighbours. Set in the first decade of the 20th century The Chainmakers’ Daughter is a haunting portrayal of abject poverty, ever-present death, and modern-day slavery.

The Chainmakers' Daughter is set in England, the Black Country from 1901 - 1910. Rosie is the eldest daughter of chainmakers, learning her trade at her mother’s side. Pay for women is poor, and despite working ten or twelve hours a day, starvation wages keep the chainmakers in abject poverty, while the chain masters reap the profit. Hearing that in London, agitator and socialist, Mary Macarthur, is lobbying parliament to end sweated labour, Rosie writes to her, begging her help in their desperate plight, but can one person unite the women chainmakers of Hawley Heath to strike for a living wage and defeat their rich and powerful chain master, who refuses to pay the legal wage? Can the white slaves of England defeat the chain master, or will Rosie's ill-considered liaison with the chain master's son lose her the man she loves and possibly end her life on the gallows?

A Victorian/Edwardian political social drama, The Chainmakers' Daughter exposes the living conditions of working-class women and girl's in the early 1900s. Mary Macarthur, a socialist and the first woman to stand for parliament, founded the Anti-Sweating League, the National Federation of Women Workers, and was instrumental in getting the 1910 Wage Board Act and a legal minimum wage into law. It was a fight that took many years and culminated in the women chainmakers' strike of 1910, a strike that lasted two months. A family saga, this is the story of the fight of ordinary working women for a fair day's pay for a fair day's work that paved the pay for a national minimum wage and equality for women.

Read a Chapter or Two Here

Purchase the Book Here

About the Author: (from Amazon)

Rebecca lives near Britain's smallest city, St Davids, in the far west of Wales with her rescue dog, rescue husband and twenty very sheepish sheep. Surrounded by stunning coastal and moorland scenery, she also loves to paint. She inherited her love of stories from her grandfather, who told stories with his hands: stories with colourful characters and unexpected endings. Her fascination with what makes people who they are, and the belief that life is many shades of grey, informs her writing. A Native American Indian proverb reads, 'Don't judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.' Rebecca has based her life on this tenet: it is certainly core to her writing. 'We may not condone what a person does, but sometimes we can understand and maybe come to forgive.' In 2019, she won the IAN Fiction Book of the Year prize, the IAN Outstanding Historical Fiction prize, and the Readers' Favorite Gold Medal for Historical era/event Fiction.

All her books have been awarded Readers' Favorite 5-star reviews, and previews of her books can be read at

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Author's Website





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