In a Midland town a minor literary lion dies in mysterious circumstances. An epidemic of church burning leads to a sensational trial. Witness to these events is Jack Wolstenholme, a miner;s son and one of a group of young people who gathered around a local schoolmaster of liberal pretensions Herbert Wold encourages their aspirations and restlessness, the urge to freedom at any price which is their reaction against the restricting atmosphere of provincial life in the 50's. He also has a dazzling daughter. Some of the group escape or seem to escape. Jack stays and is drawn in by his affection for Ted, the rich man's son, into a dark web of events -and anarchy which might be the underside of the freedom, the right to self-fulfillment Herbert had preached but somehow failed to live himself. Through this ordeal Jack is forced to reassess many attitudes, to love, friendship and ambition. This novel powerfully evokes a time and a complex world of feeling. Here in depth are the agonies and tenderness of a very real marriage, the responsibilities of blood and friendship, and a startling study of the darker reaches of human experience.
Used availability for Janice Elliott's The Kindling
June 1970 : UK Hardback
1970 : USA Hardback