THE STRUTTS AND THE ARKWRIGHTS
R.S Fitton and A.P. Wadsorth, this edition 2012, £18
Paperback, 361 pages, £18
R.S. Fitton and A.P. Wadsworth’s pioneering case study of the birth of the factory system in Derbyshire’s Derwent Valley, has long been recognised as a classic in the literature of the industrial revolution. First published in 1958, it charts the development of Richard Arkwright’s and Jedediah Strutt’s textile empires with particular focus on their cotton mills in Cromford, Belper and Milford with the communities they built to sustain them. Among the book’s strengths is Wadsworth’s depiction of life in Belper in the 1790s, lives that were lived at the mill and at home, always under the watching eye of the factory master. The reader glimpses real lives in these pages, an attribute all too rare, made possible here by the quality of the Strutt archive. Out of print for many years, this paperback edition was commissioned by the Trust in 2012.
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