Hywel Mortymer's story begins in 1800 when he is sixteen and a dramatic
change in fortune leads him, innocent and inexperienced, to a brutal and
dangerous life working in the coal mines.
In the mines children can be horribly maimed in devastating gas explosions,
or grow deformed with the burden of their labours and babies are born
Wales is in turmoil. A tragic divide between rich and poor, the workers powerless,
penniless, starving and diseased sparks growing unrest as the newly founded
Unions move inexorably towards the Chartist Rebellion.
This Proud and Savage Land is a brilliantly detailed chronicle of early nineteenth-
century Wales and a prelude to the bestselling Rape of the Fair Country.