Local Landscape in the Novels of Francis Brett Young

By

When regional novelist Francis Brett Young (1884-1954) received an honorary doctorate from the University of Birmingham, the Public Orator commented: “He has done for Warwickshire and Worcestershire what Hardy did for Dorset and Bennett for the Five Towns.”

The borders of Young’s fictional world actually extend far beyond Warwickshire and Worcestershire, encompassing all the land visible from the high ground west of Birmingham. Spanning the years from the early nineteenth century to 1939, Young’s entertaining stories are set against backdrops which complement character and plot.

His novels hold in tension the conflict between the industrial Black Country, the ever-increasing metropolis of Birmingham and the countryside to the south and west. Like Hardy and Bennett, Young adopted the convention of variant names for his literary locations. Thus Birmingham becomes North Bromwich, Wolverhampton Wolverbury, Wednesbury Wednesford, Dudley Dulston and Hales Owen Halesby.

KEYWORDS: Francis Brett Young, Novels, Black Country, Industry

Download the Full Article (PDF)

Categories:

Word University

Books from History West Midlands

Beasts, Birds and Gods
Beasts, Birds and Gods
Interpreting the Staffordshire Hoard

In Chris Fern, George Speake, Anglo Saxons, Hoard,

Buy Now £6.00

Fortunes of War:
Fortunes of War:
The West Midlands at the Time of Waterloo

In Andrew Watts, Emma Tyler, Andrew Watts, Emma Tyler, Waterloo, Military,

Buy Now £7.99

Lighthouses:
Lighthouses:
The Race to Illuminate the World

In Glass, Chance Brothers,

Buy Now £14.40