The Entrepreneurial Society of the Rhondda Valleys, 1840-1920: Power and Influence in the Porth-Pontypridd Region

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University of Wales Press, 2010 - Business & Economics - 352 pages
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This is the first book to examine in a systematic way the entrepreneurial society of the Welsh valleys. until now, almost everything written about the society created by the Welsh coal industry has focused on the workers and the unions, leaving a significant absence in any attempt at achieving a rounded picture of life in the south Wales valleys during the coal boom. This book looks at the various sources of wealth in the area-coalowning, railway building, possession of land in crucial areas, contracting, building, property development, shopkeeping - and at the varied origins of the first-generation entrepreneurs, before going on to examine closely the networks of power and influence that developed between the second-generation entrepreneurs in the close and claustrophobic middle-class society of the Porth-Pontypridd area. The book's method is to take one extended family central to that society, along with its vast network of friends and collaborators, and to examine in great detail using original sources the often hair-raising business methods of these people as well as their conflicts of interest at times of industrial unrest. At the same time, the changes in valleys life are mirrored in the history of this group: the original rags-to-riches stories of so many of the first generation; the self-sufficient confidence of so many of the second generation for whom the coal boom seemed destined to last for ever; and the gradual move, thereafter, from the industrialised valleys to the coastal towns of south wales ahead of the coal industry's decline. --Book Jacket.

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Contents

The South Wales Coal Industry
7
A dogged will a fixity of purpose a tenacity
15
A blunt straightforward and from head to feet
37
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Richard Griffiths is professor emeritus at the University of Wales and King’s College, London. He is the author of a number of books on British political history, English and French literature, and religion.

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