The Beardmore Chronicles: This new trilogy tells the story of 20th Century Canada in the context of the leather industry, an international business which allows the characters travel and contacts around the world during times of tension and discord. The story focuses on three families all tied to the industry and eventually to the Beardmore Company, the largest tannery in the British Empire. The first book Steadfast Duty finds the MacLeod clan, typical of the Scots that settled much of English Canada, residing in Acton, home of the head office of the Beardmore consortium, where Duncan MacLeod has become the Managing Director of the company. The year is 1914. The Davies family, recent Welsh immigrants to Canada, maintains a substandard existence as minimum wage earners, employed in the Beardmore tannery in Bracebridge. The patriarch Morgan, has accepted his lot in life, but is determined that his six children will accomplish much more. The third family, The Mullers, operate a leather tannery on the Elbe River, in the Sudetenland area of Austria Hungary where their ancestors have lived for some three centuries. Rudolph Muller is secure in his well established niche, close to Prague and Vienna with all the comforts and security that the Empire provides. All three families are about to have their lives torn apart as the world unravels and duty calls.
Steadfast Duty covers the period between 1914 and 1932 at which time American protectionism decimated the leather industry. The second book The Structural Transformation follows the same three families through the resurgence of the industry in the context of a period that dramatically changes the lives of all of them and intertwines their futures forever. The period covered stretches from 1938 to 1955. The final book in the trilogy “The End of An Era” encompasses some of the greatest successes for Beardmore only to end with the impact of globalization and the loss of the industry to offshore competition. The setting for the final chapters runs between 1967 and 1989.
Throughout the trilogy the characters are engaged in many circumstances that reflect the character and accomplishments of Canadians in a century laden with challenges and characterized by conflict and all encompassing change.