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Although admired by fellow writers like E. M. Forster, Henry Green and William Faulkner and winning comparisons with Joseph Conrad and Dostoyevsky, James Hanley is not as well known as he should be. Without doubt, he was one of the major British writers of the twentieth-century. Faber Finds is proud to be reissuing his Furys saga, making all five novels available for the first time.
Before writing The Furys, James Hanley outlined his plan to his publisher:
‘I want to show the downfall of a whole family excepting one, and that is the woman. That woman is heroic, powerful, exercises a tremendous influence over her family. I shall show her under every light. I cannot attempt to describe in detail the amazing lives of these people, sometimes fantastic, but never, never divorced from reality. Working class lives are full of colour, of poetry, there is the stuff of drama in the most insignificant things.’
The Secret Journey is the second in the Furys five volume saga. Again, Fanny Fury, the mother of the Liverpool Irish family, is the dominant character. She has fallen on such hard times she is forced to borrow a few pounds from a moneylender; her debt accumulates, and gradually the whole of the Fury family become caught in the net. This is the main theme of the book but much else happens besides.
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