Third part of New Lanark trilogy launched this week

New Lanark Trilogy
New Lanark Trilogy

New Lanark author CA Hope will be in the village tomorrow (Thursday) to celebrate the launch of the third part of her historical trilogy, telling the human story behind the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

She will be in the Mill Shop from 3pm-8pm with her latest book: “New Lanark: In Search of Utopia”, released on Tuesday.

Book One, “New Lanark: Spinning New Lives”, covered the years 1785-1799; “New Lanark: Living With a Visionary” covered 1800-1814, and the new book covers the years 1814-1825.

“For me, it sees the completion of seven years of work and nearly 12,000 miles of travel for research” said the author.

I cannot help but wonder how much better life would be if Owen’s New View of Society had been grasped and implemented 200 years ago: religious tolerance, kindness and respect and an over riding ethos of co-operation between everyone.

Marluc Publishing describes the trilogy as a “a major body of work which brings alive a vitally important period of social history, not just for Scotland but across the world. It is an enormous accomplishment by CA Hope, especially as this is her debut into historical novels.”

The 18th Century mills are famous throughout the world, and C A Hope’s novels tell the personal side of this pioneering community.

“I was inspired to write these books by David Dale,” C A Hope states. “People say Robert Owen built New Lanark; no, that wonderful old Glasgow worthy, merchant and philanthropist David Dale built the mills!

“He was the giant on whose shoulders Robert Owen went on to create his social legacy and change society forever.”

The novels are a compelling historical family saga based on a true story. C A Hope’s evocative descriptions, wealth of research and her strong characterisation are receiving praise from both literary reviewers and historians.

But they also place the ground-breaking reforms in the village in context with world affairs. The story gives an emotional rollercoaster of frustration against hostile barriers of greed, power and bigotry and rising hopes, too often dashed, to bring about education for all children, rights for workers and the birth of the Co-operative.

Robert Owen died on November 17 1858, but his legacy lives on, directly affecting the lives of billions of people every day.

“I want to bring 18th Century Scotland alive,” C A Hope said, “let the reader actually be there, to know the villagers as friends and meet Owen, Dale and their families.

“These were real people, whether rich and dancing under chandeliers in drawing rooms or poor, gossiping in the tenements enveloped in the smell of coal smoke on a damp winter’s afternoon.”

And she added: “The first villagers of New Lanark did not know they were creating a legacy; to them it was simply their daily life.”