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  A History of Birmingham
A History of Birmingham

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Our Price: AU$36.95 Inc GST
Media: BOOK - paperback, 232 pages
Author: C. Upton
Year: 2011
Other Data: b&w photos, sketches, maps, index
ISBN: 9781860776618

Availability: Not Carried
Product Code: PHL715
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Birmingham was a village worth only one pound in the Domesday Survey, yet it rose to become the second city of the British Empire with a population that passed a million. Its growth began when Peter de Birmingham obtained a market charter in 1154 for his little settlement by an insignificant river, with all roads leading to its all-important market-place. In the succeeding centuries, Birmingham has been a product of market forces, as a market for agriculture, trade and metal work.

By the 18th century, Birmingham overtook Coventry as the biggest town in Warwickshire, and by 1800 it was 'the toy shop of Europe', having cornered the markets for gunmaking, jewellery, buttons and buckles with a bewildering variety of specialist craftsmen and traders. The factory system that had already begun and men like James Watt, Matthew Boulton, Joseph Priestly and William Murdock made Birmingham the powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution, selling their wares in vast quantities to the entire world. The middle of the 19th century saw Birmingham pioneering political reform, education and municipal government.

In this first, single-volume history of the history for half a century, Dr Upton looks at why Birmingham grew and what it became. It has always been a place in which to experiment, from the steam engine to the factory in a garden; from the Bull Ring to Spaghetti Junction. To some, the story of Birmingham is one of great industries: Boulton and Watt, Dunlop, Cadbury's, G.K.N., Lloyd's Bank and Austin Rover. But there are many lesser known tales of the Bull Ring Riots, the Onion Fair, the first floodlit football match and the tripe sellers. It is a story of communities too. The Quakers settled in the 17th century, the Irish and Italians in the 19th and , more recently, people from the Caribbean, the Indian subcontinent, China and Vietnam have all made Birmingham their home.

As Birmingham makes its mark on the map of Europe again, one thing in certain ... the story of the city that brought us Joseph and Neville Chamberlain, Thomas the Tank Engine, Fu Manchu and Mendelssohn's 'Elijah' can hardly be dull. Chris Upton's lively account ensures that Birmingham's fascinating story loses nothing in the telling.

List of Illustrations
Illustration Acknowledgements
1. Beginnings
2. A Town on the Move
3. A Walk Around the Town
4. A Brush with History
5. Preparing for the Revolution
6. A Town on the Move
7. Entertaining the Town
8. Radicals and Rioting
9. A Little Philosophical Laughter
10. The Golden Boys
11. Steam Power for the World
12. Cleansing, Paving, Lighting
13. A Transport Revolution
14. The Railway Age
15. New Settlers
16. King Tom and the Democrats
17. The Far Side of Newhall Hill
18. The Musical Town
19. From Ballads to Bhangra: Birmingham's Popular Culture
20. Matters of Life and Death
21. Libraries, Baths and Parks
22. Municipalisation
23. Schools and Hospitals
24. Entertainment Without Music
25. City of a Thousand Trades
26. The Changing Bull Ring
27. Greater and Greater Birmingham
28. Homes for Heroes
29. What Went Wrong with Tomorrow?
30. The Rebuilding of Birmingham

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