Blood is on the Grass by John Bleasdale
16th August 1819: a peaceful demonstration in Manchester is attacked by armed cavalry and the local militia, killing dozens and injuring hundreds.
Having fought and bled for Wellington in Belgium, Silas Paterson finds himself on the street. Traumatised by his war time experience, he slides into a life of alcoholism and beggary. Rescued by an old comrade, Silas finds work as a weaver in Oldham, but as his interest in the nascent working class movement begins, have his motives changed or is he still a loyal subject of the crown?
With hope in her heart, Annie Fildes and her husband move to the new town of Manchester to escape the poverty of the village. Here, however, she will be caught in an industrial machine that grinds down her fresh, bold spirit. Will she succeed in making a life for herself or will she become one more statistic in a savage market place?
From the killing fields of Waterloo to the dark heart of the industrial revolution, Blood is on the Grass is an astonishing debut novel that recounts the events leading up to the Peterloo massacre and the thrilling story of individuals caught in a turbulent period of history.
John Bleasdale was born in Ulverston, Cumbria. Having completed his PhD with the thesis ‘Shelley and Laughter’ at the University of Liverpool, John moved to north east Italy, where he now teaches at the University of Venice. He is also a screenwriter whose latest script is currently in pre-production with a UK based production company.