THE ARKWRIGHTS, SPINNERS OF FORTUNE
R.S. Fitton, this edition 2012, £18
This is the definitive biography of Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-1792) and the first detailed account of the life of his only son Richard Arkwright junior (1755-1843), and the dynasty of land owning gentry he founded and sustained from his immense wealth. A work of encyclopaedic detail, all the major issues of Sir Richard’s career are considered; his family’s origins in Lancashire; his education; the inventions; the patents won and lost; the Arkwright system; his emergence as a public figure and the business empire he created. In Fitton’s careful assessment Richard junior emerges, from beneath the shadow of his father, as his own man. Diffident and modest yet a money making machine who died ‘the richest commoner in Europe’.
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