Although the book was initially credited to D. F. E. Sykes and G. H. Walker, G. H. Walker’s name is missing from the third edition, and it is essentially Sykes’ work. First published in 1898, it is a novel which deserves wider recognition as it deals with surprisingly contemporary issues, but it is as a social history of the period that it stands out. Sykes’ use of the local dialect, the entertaining asides that he includes and his skill at sketching characters and their lives, at a period of such turmoil in the Colne Valley, add to its value. It is interesting that, as a historian, Sykes chose to embellish the facts, that were available to him at the time, with fiction, and his purpose must have been literary. Historians rightly take issue in this matter, but he is clear on his sympathy for their cause and the background and reasoning behind these events, though he draws back on the murder of Horsfall. The Luddites were not mindless machine breakers but desperate men, in poverty and despair, fighting for a voice to be heard against uncaring mill owners and a corrupt government. This is undoubtedly Sykes’ best novel, a sound history of the Luddites and a good read.