A Place Called Freedom Author:Ken Follett Set in 1767, this book follows the adventures of an idealistic young coal miner from Scotland who believes there must be more to life than working down the pit. The miner, Mack McAsh, eventually runs away in order to find work and a new life in London. Eventually McAsh becomes a leader amongst the working classes of the city and become... more »s a target for those vested interest groups who do not share his point of view. McAsh is framed for a crime he did not commit and sent to serve seven years hard labor in the colony of Virginia where he is forced to find a new life.
The novel initially deals with subject of the 'Payment of Arles', a form of serfdom for miners in the 18th century which meant that once a miner started work in a coal mine he was bound to the mine for the rest of his life. It was a custom for the master or landowner of the mine to give a gift to parents at the time of a child's baptism. The gift would then bind the child to work alongside the parents when they came of age,
Sentenced to a life of misery in the Scottish coal mines, twenty-one-year-old Mack McAsh hungers for escape. His only ally: beautiful high-born Lizzie Hallim, who is trapped in her own kind of hell.
In 1766, from the teeming streets of London to the infernal hold of a slave ship headed for the American colonies to a sprawling Virginia plantation, two restless young people, separated by politics and position, are bound by their search for a place called freedom....
Hidden in the shadows of a Scottish river bank in the winter of 1767, a young woman watches a figure emerging from the icy water. Lizzie Hallim has never seen a naked man before; but her excitement is tinged with fear. The man is a slave, and she is helping him to escape.« less
This book provides good insight into human injustice and slavery in Europe, as well as America, in the 18th century. Poor and uneducated people of every race were taken advantage of. Follett does an excellent job of weaving a tale of love and loss into the political and social history of England and the American colonies in the 1770's.
Mack McAsh struggles out of his life of misery in the mines of England in 1766 and eventually makes his way to America during the American Revolution. His only ally is the love of his life, Lizzie Hallim who is trapped in her own kind of hell and together they search for a place called "freedom". A wonderful story.