The West Riding: setting for the earlier novels in the Oldroyd saga - the novels that were so successfully televised as the Inheritance trilogy. Now the story is continued. The old, closely-knit world of the textile families has changed. When old Henry Morcar dies suddenly, a new generation comes into its inheritance. Syke Mill is threatened by a takeover bid. There is a protest march. Social conditions change but the picture of the West Riding and its people is as authentic as ever.
Phyllis Bentley (1894-1977) was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, where she was educated until she attended Cheltenham Ladies College, Gloucestershire. In 1932 her best-known work, Inheritance, was published to widespread critical acclaim and commercial success. This was in contrast to her previous efforts, a collection of short stories entitled The World’s Bane, and several poor-selling novels. The success of Inheritance made her the most successful English regional novelist since Thomas Hardy, and she produced two more novels to create a trilogy; The Rise of Henry Morcar and A Man Of His Time. This success made her a much demanded speaker and she became an expert on the Bronte family. Over her career she garnered many awards; an honorary DLitt from Leeds University (1949); a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (1958); awarded an OBE (1970).