An account of a devastating mining disaster, celebrating the 175th anniversary of The London Library
Although (shallow) coal mining dates back as far as the 13th century, it was the development of the steam engine which began a huge increase in the amount of coal raised from the ground. Mining was difficult and there was constant danger from collapse, flooding and the presence of explosive gas.
This account of the devastating explosion on the afternoon of 18th June 1835 makes powerful reading, reflecting in its simple language and direct reporting the reality of working life in the collieries at the time. In all, 102 of the 105 men and boys in the pit at the time of the explosion lost their lives; the two youngest boys killed were 8 and 9 years old.
The books in "Found on the Shelves" have been chosen to give a fascinating insight into the treasures that can be found while browsing in The London Library. Now celebrating its 175th anniversary, with over seventeen miles of shelving and more than a million books, The London Library has become an unrivalled archive of the modes, manners and thoughts of each generation which has helped to form it.
From essays on dieting in the 1860s to instructions for gentlewomen on trout-fishing, from advice on the ill health caused by the "modern" craze of bicycling to travelogues from Norway, they are as readable and relevant today as they were more than a century ago.
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