Bal Maidens, by Lynne Mayers, subtitled 'Women and Girls of the Cornish and Devon Mines'
Published by Blaize Bailey Books in 2008, 281 pages. Paperback - c.18.5cm by 24cm (N6900X1)
From the rear side cover: Lynne Mayers estimates that between the years 1720 and 1920 at least 60,000 women and girls worked in the mines, quarries and clay works of Cornwall and Devon. They carried out hard, skilled and specialised work, which was a crucial part of the dressing operations.
The author has carefully researched their working lives and home-life, their. characteristics and the occupational hazards which they encountered. How essential were they to the industry? What were their working conditions? How much did they earn? What did they do with the very little spare time and money they had? As the mines closed, where did they go and what happened to them? This is the record of a remarkable group of women, plus some individual accounts of the few whose stories have survived.
The Cornwall and Devon metal mines and smelters of the 18th and 19th century formed a unique and separate part of the mining heritage of these islands. No other metal mining district was so extensive, nor used women and girls in such abundance. It was here that much of our nation's mineral wealth was created, based on no small part on the labour of these girls and women...
The book is illustrated throughout with several small black and white photographs, drawings and maps.
The condition of the book is generally very good. The cover has one or two very minor scuffs but is clean and tidy, the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound.