|Tags:||adventure, education, England, fiction, James Tait Black Memorial Prize, film adaptation|
The book is set in the fictional South Riding of Yorkshire: the inspiration being the East Riding rather than South Yorkshire; Holtby's mother, Alice, was the first alderwoman on the East Riding County Council. The leading characters are: Sarah Burton, an idealistic young headmistress; Robert Carne of Maythorpe Hall, tormented by his disastrous marriage; Joe Astell, a socialist fighting poverty; and Mrs Beddows, the first woman alderman of the district. [Suggest a different description.]
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