In Cramped and Sooty Caverns by Dr Michael Hall
This book is not a traditional study of industrial history. Instead Michael, President of the Black Country Society for 2013-14, uses the portrait of nail-makers and nail-making created by Halesowen author Francis Brett Young, across nine novels set between 1800 and 1930. This account allows the real people, real places and real lives to tell the story. The book is well laid out and contains many images within its pages; in parts it reads as an anthology of all things nails and Michael has a very readable style of writing. Of course, the novel nature of the book is the thread of the writings of Francis Brett Young, which enhances and complements the rest of Michael’s research. This book is very well researched and there are plenty of notes and references should you wish to dig deeper into the subject.