Black Dogs and Stone Pianos
Despite the solidity of its dry stone walls and its rugged beauty, the landscape of the Yorkshire Dales is fragile. By the 1920s, more vulnerable still was the way of life that had continued there for hundreds of years but which was rapidly dying out. Two young women – the writer Ella Pontefract and the artist Marie Hartley – realized that if no record were kept, more than a thousand years of rural tradition would vanish without trace. They decided to do something about it, and embarked on a remarkable literary enterprise that continues to illuminate the life and lore of the Dales. The collaboration was also to bring the companions domestic fulfilment and, to their surprise, a whiff of celebrity.