Precious Bane tells the stories of Prue Sarn and her brother Gideon. Prue is a free spirit whose life has been cursed by her facial disfigurement – a hare lip, referred to in the book as her ‘precious bane’. Living in the 19th century wilds of Shropshire she inevitably becomes a victim of malice and superstition. Locked into a life of rural toil, Prue finds solace in the countryside she loves so much and her seemingly unrequited love for Kester Woodseaves, the weaver.
Her brother’s story is more tragic. Driven by a lust for wealth and power in a society which won’t allow him to advance, Gideon attacks nature and destroys all those who are close to him. His self-destruction becomes a metaphor for the disastrous consequences of subverting nature’s will.
Precious Bane was adapted for both special schools and also for arts centres, theatres and festivals.