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Henry by Megan Bruton

Introduction to Henry’s narrative

(Please be advised that this introduction is not spoiler-free!)

My second narrative tells the true story of an overnight fire at Britannia Mill, in 1860, which threw workers out of employment for months.

One such worker is my character, Henry, a 21 year-old overseer at Britannia. Henry proclaims himself a ‘self-made man’, desperate to follow in the footsteps of mill-owner, John Mayall, and eventually make himself a fortune as a cotton tycoon. Certain of his every move, his narration feels like the perfect foil to Ann’s.

Henry’s words are interspersed with clippings from various newspapers detailing the fire. Some are national, some local, but all are written in 1860, days after the event.

The fire was a tragedy for workers, causing immediate, drastic unemployment until Britannia could be rebuilt. I hope this terrifying truth comes across, amidst Henry’s own desires and fears.


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Henry, narrated by the author Megan Bruton.

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