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The Scene of the Crime (3): 'These Poor Hands'

The Scene of the Crime: 3

These Poor Hands (B. L. Coombes)

Novels and narratives concerned with working-class lives have always been a favourite theme with writers whose interests have lain within the field of realism. Such writers could be placed within two categories; those who observed and wrote mainly "from the outside" and whose writings bear the imprint of "academics" and those who wrote "from the inside" having actual experience of the anguish, despair and poverty of which they speak. The latter, when it emerges, cannot but bear the stamp of authenticity and such a writer was Coombes.

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