Local writer, musician, and record label boss Peter Darrington has announced his debut novel, Pentrich: England’s Last Uprising, will be released on 9 June 2017.
The novel follows on from Darrington’s play of the same name, which won a BBC Writer’s Room competition and was performed at arts festivals and the Guildhall Theatre in Derby during 2014. Publication of the book coincides with the 200th anniversary of the events it recounts; a rebellion which started in Derbyshire village Pentrich and which had the intention of marching on parliament in the name of universal suffrage.
Darrington, also bassist in Cable and The Hudson Super 6, said: “I’m delighted to have finished this book. Not only is it to be published on the two hundredth anniversary of these now almost forgotten events that were a national scandal at the time, but you can explore so many more aspects of the story and the characters with a novel than you can a play.
“While my play was all over after five performances, a book lives on forever, allowing a much greater audience to discover the story and your writing. Herman Melville only sold 50 copies of Moby Dick while he was alive and look at that book now, it’s considered a classic, so while a play is in many ways ephemeral, a book is immortal, irrespective of how successful it is and I find that exciting.”
The novel follows the events from the perspective of George Weightman, one of the leaders of the uprising and the only one of the instigators to escape the death penalty when it came to trial. Extradited to a penal colony in Australia George recounts the events leading up to and during the uprising, and the belief the men were incited by the government they rallied against to set a stark warning to the working class throughout the land.
In the politically unsettled times we live in currently, where class and economic disparity is still rife, the tale of England’s Last Uprising may be set 200 years in the past but the discontent and desperation resonate strongly with today.
The book will be published as an eBook and a paperback via a new offshoot of the Derby record label Darrington runs with journalist Sarah Lay, Reckless Yes. They say they aren’t open for general submissions at the moment but are focused on debut works by writers and have a second novel set for release this year.
Pentrich: England’s Last Uprising is available to pre-order from Reckless Yes Publishing here and will be available via Amazon from 9 June 2017.
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