‘ the person who assiduously endeavours to become a good poet, cannot do otherwise than become an elegant and accomplished scholar’
John Burland, a Barnsley Chartist teacher, poet and journalist.
An occasional blog on Barnsley writers from 19th century to today. Barnsley has a notable writing history. It was one of two towns to produce the earliest dialect Almanack. It produced a few commemorative poets who supported their local area. Barnsley has John Arden, Barry Hines, Donald Davie, Ian McMillan, Andrew McMillan, Joanne Harris, Milly Johnson. I will be looking at each in turn, not in a dry, academic fashion. My views are solely mine. I want to see what each writer has to say about the town and its characters. Perhaps, discover common threads, that run like the linen industry through their words. I will be looking at usual suspects: Barry Hines, Kes, John Ardens ‘The Workhouse Donkey’, Donald Davies ‘The Wind At Penistone’, @ImcMillans ‘The Er Barnsley Seascapes’ and a few you may never have read
As with all towns and cities in the Nineteenth century Barnsley underwent great changes. Moving from a major linen weaving town to a mining one. The Barnsley writers of the day reflected this.