This series, fully illustrated with maps and half-tones, is written for general readers as well as the student. In illuminating the anonymous lives of our predecessors it will, when complete, substantially enrich our understanding of the many histories which together make up the history of England. This authoritative volume surveys the modern history of the counties of Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire. In 1540 this was a backward area, poor, underpopulated and conservative. During the seventeenth and early eighteenth century the spread of the first cottage industries to the mills and the mines transformed the region into one of the engines of Britain's nineteenth-century greatness. The causes, the costs and the consequences of that transformation are vividly portrayed in this very readable text. Offers a succinct account and analysis of the first region to experience the developed factory system. Discusses the rise, dominance and decline of the region which has parallels across the country and the world. Provides essential background text for the students of local history. Assumes no previous knowledge of the region.