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Bill Broady

The Night-Soil Men

The Night-Soil Men


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Broady’s major work of fiction, nearly a decade in the writing, explores the origins and development of the Independent Labour Party – the working-class political movement founded in Bradford in 1893. Detailing the exploits, fortunes, and relationships of three central characters: passionate Fred Jowett, ruthless Philip Snowden (later, the Labour Party’s first chancellor), and the licentious and unforgettable Victor Grayson.

Spanning four decades, the novel covers the socialist foment and activism of fin-de-siècle Britain, the impact of the First World War and the changing landscape of the interwar years, as social change points forward to a new politics and the reinvention of Britain, despite fierce resistance from the establishment and its allies. And all punctuated with sex, comrades, hustings, art, dialect and copious points of order.

With cameos of every leading socialist of the age, this sweeping generational tale is thrilling, revolutionary, ribald and laugh-out-loud funny.

Praise for Previous Work

‘Broady choreographs his imagery and themes with dexterity and verve … and infuses this book with an unusual kind of grace.’ —Time Out

‘A poignant yet surreal love story … Eternity is Temporary vividly recalls 1976’s long, hot summer of Pistols and pogoing.’ —InStyle Magazine

‘It's full of drifting imagery, heady with the fever of first love, city heat and rock ’n’ roll.’ —Metro

‘A pin-sharp depiction of the sex, sherry and shackles in a care home.’ —Independent on Sunday, Critics Choice

‘Broady counts as a true original, a writer who keeps our judgements nicely suspended and our senses keenly primed.’ —The Independent

‘Broady writes with rude, comic dynamism.’ —Financial Times

‘Packed with vivid characters of extraordinary potential, this is a story where the everyday and the spectacular merge seamlessly.’ —New Books Magazine

‘A dark, shimmery story, full of damage and wonder.’ —Elle

‘Echoing the aspirations of its heroine, Broady’s stunning narrative seems to hover in its own distinctive element and, at times, to soar and fly. In prose of poetic precision and poignancy, he touches on the deepest dreams of the human heart.’ —Observer

‘A skewed fairy tale, a hymn to water … Broady’s descriptions of swimming are supple, fluid and memorable.’ —The Times

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