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Barry HinesKes, Threads and Beyond$
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David Forrest and Sue Vice

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781784992620

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784992620.001.0001

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The politics of hope in 1970s Britain

The politics of hope in 1970s Britain

First Signs, Speech Day, The Gamekeeper, Tom Kite, The Price of Coal

(p.42) 2 The politics of hope in 1970s Britain
Barry Hines

David Forrest

Sue Vice

Manchester University Press

This chapter focuses on a period of extremely fruitful aesthetic production for Hines, in terms of the novels and screenplays that followed A Kestrel for a Knave. During the 1970s, Hines’s political energies were directed towards considering the institutions and structures of life at a time of active struggle for workers’ rights. Thus industrial action is evident in his novel First Signs (1972), and the pair of Plays for Today The Price of Coal (1977) looks back at the miners’ strikes of the early 1970s even as it anticipates the catastrophic strike of 1984-5. 1973’s Play for Today Speech Day is an experimental play about the class-related implications of education and the dim prospects for school-leavers, his novel The Gamekeeper (1975) about class injustice in relation to private land-ownership. Tom Kite is an unproduced screenplay about the potential offered by football for a working-class man to escape his origins.

Keywords:   Football, The Price of Coal, Ken Loach, Education, Unemployment, Landownership, Social class

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