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Josh Retallick, hardy son of a respected Cornish family, and the wild Miriam, daughter of a drink-sodden copper miner, explore together the secret places and wild creatures of Bodmin Moor, unaware that fate will soon sweep them apart.

Yet destiny brings them together again and again through hard and bitter years when the forces of property and power fight to crush the sturdy mining folk who refuse, come what may, to see their spirit broken . . .