Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Ruby's Spoon

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Ruby's Spoon

A Novel

By Anna Lawrence Pietroni

Ruby's Spoon
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  • Hardcover: Feb 2010,
    384 pages.
    Paperback: May 2011,
    400 pages.

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England's Black Country is currently defined as the West Midlands region encompassing Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley and Sandwell, though the specific borders have been previously debated. The name reputedly derives from the thick Staffordshire coal seam and from the area's industrial past. Once home to steel mills, coal mines, glassworks, and factories that produced chains, locks, leather, nails, cast iron and similar goods, the Black Country also inspired writers such as Elihu Berrit, whose Walks in the Black Country and Its Green Border-land begins: "The Black Country, black by day and red by night… is a section of Titanic industry, kept in murky perspiration by a sturdy set of Tubal Cains and Vulcans, week in week out, and often seven days to the week." Among the notable items made were Ruskin pottery, which was known for the special glazes that are no longer recreated, and anchors, including the one used on the Titanic. The transport of goods was facilitated by a system of ...

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