Mining is Britain's oldest industry, and this book follows the men and, in the past, women who spent their lives working underground. Since the New Stone Age various minerals have been wrested from British soil - copper, tin, gold, lead - but in later periods the key commodity was coal. Those who worked in the mines were constantly battling on two fronts: there was the continual danger of flood and explosion; and the often bitter struggles against the mine owners. This story is also one of invention and innovation, looking particularly at how the independent miners of Cornwall and Devon were at the forefront of the development of the steam engine that was to transform society. This, the second book in an exciting new series looking at Britain's most dangerous industries, is a tale of blood, sweat and death among a courageous and close-knit community that has now all but passed into history.