Kes, Threads and beyond
While this book is by no means a biography, the importance of environment in Barry Hines’s writing means that insight into his background and the journey to his writing career introduces us to the recurrent preoccupations of his work. The son and grandson of a miner, Hines grew up in Hoyland Common, a pit village between Rotherham and Barnsley in the heart of South Yorkshire’s Dearne Valley. Hines passed the 11-plus examination and attended Ecclesfield Grammar School, on the outskirts of Sheffield, from 1950 to 1957. This experience shaped Hines’s long-standing and vociferous criticism of the grammar school system: ‘Just because I sat down one morning when I was 10 years old and got a few more sums right than my mates seemed no reason for trying to make me into a snob’, he observed in 1975....
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