The Long Winter Ends by Newton G. Thomas
A reprint of the 1941 novel by Newton G. Thomas, The Long Winter Ends tells the story of a year in the life of a young emigrant miner who leaves Cornwall, a peninsula at the southwestern end of England, to work in the copper mines of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Typical of emigrant miners drawn to the new mines in America after copper and tin mine closings in Cornwall, Jim Holman journeys to Michigan from Stoke, Cornwall, and spends his first year living in a boarding house with other Cornish miners. Through Jim's story, The Long Winter Ends offers a glimpse into the lives of an often neglected immigrant group that played an important role in the development of the Great Lakes and American mining industries since the 1840s. Drawing on his own experience as a young Cornish immigrant in the mining communities of the Upper Peninsula, Thomas incorporated firsthand knowledge of the work routines of underground mining, as well as the inflections and patterns of Cornish speech, into this novel. With an introduction providing information about the cultural history of the Cornish, this narrative traces a Cornish emigrant's experience from the failure of the mines in Cornwall, his hopes to preserve Cornish traditions in America, and then finally his acceptance of a future in America.