Maryellen's Reviews > Labour of Love

Labour of Love by Torquil Cowan
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it was amazing

LABOUR OF LOVE could not be more aptly named. For this “factional narrative” (a literary and cinematic genre in which real events are used as a basis for a fictional narrative or dramatization) was written about a man named Robert Smillie (1857-1940) whose love of the common laborer drove him to devote his life to not only bettering the working conditions of coal miners in the UK during the early 1900’s; but, also to rise to the rank of Minister Prime of Morpeth in 1923.

In LABOUR OF LOVE , as Robert Smillie lies dying in a hospital, he tells his life story to a journalist. And what a story he tells. It begins when he is but a boy in Belfast and both of his parents succumb to death. He and his brother James go to live with their Grandmother in poverty. At the age of 15 years, Robert Smillie becomes a coal miner. This singular event will be the catalyst that alters the history of Britain’s Trade Union and Labour Movement. Robert Smillie was a hero to his family and to his Country.

And clearly, he was a hero to his Great Grandson, Mr. Blair Smillie, who writes in the preface:

“This remarkable tale, about an equally remarkable man, will entertain, educate, shock and amuse the reader who enters a bygone world far removed from that of today. His struggle, together with other great working-class men, helped to improve the lives of millions throughout this historic period and should never be forgotten.”

For this reader, this book is particularly special. I had the pleasure of coming to know the author, Mr. Torquil Hamish Cowan, a gentleman of the utmost caliber, through numerous letters. Real letters sent on real paper, Mr. Cowan did not embrace the electronic age! Mr. Cowan breathed his last breath after completing this book, his very own, >i>Labour of Love.
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