The Trial of Mary Broom

Another Potteries novel, found. The Trial of Mary Broom, 1894. If it is set partly in Burslem, then it may have some interesting descriptive scenes of the town.

“The Trial of Mary Broom, by Mrs. Harry Coghill [b. Brewood, 1836, lived Staffordshire c. 1884-1891], is a story of good plot, interest, and quick exciting movement. It is founded, it would seem, upon historical events, in which the principal actors were the brother Elers, Dutch potters, who left their own country during the reign of their great countryman, William III., and settled at Bradwell, near Burslem. Their proficiency in their trade excited the jealously of their English neighbours; and a real or imaginary conspiracy against them provides Mrs. Coghill with a motif, which she has skilfully and pleasantly utilised. The Trial of Mary Broom is a capital tale.” — Academy and Literature review.

Fairly short at 160 pages, it was her sixth novel and was apparently part of the ‘Homespun’ series for women. She also published a Moorlands short story, “The vicar of Moor Edge” in Leisure Hour, 1895. This probably gives a taste of what The Trial of Mary Broom would be like if it could be obtained.


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