Pool of Life

The Story of Liverpool in Caricatures

By John Minnion

Liverpool is one of Britain's great ports, whose fortunes rose and rose, then fell dramatically, but are now rising again. It is a city of extremes, with a colourful history in which great riches have interacted with great poverty. The people of Liverpool - the Scousers - have their own distinct accent and attitudes. Among them, over the centuries, have been many remarkable people.

Pool of Life tells the story of Liverpool from its founding 800 years ago by King John (who wanted a base from which to exploit the Irish), through its evolution as an international port and involvement in the slave trade, to its subsequent decline in fortunes after World War I, and the physical and psychological devastation of the Blitz. Then there is the cultural flowering of the 1960s, epitomised by the Mersey Sound and led by the Beatles; the triumphs and tragedies of its football teams; the rioting and militancy of the 1980s - ultimately paving the way for urban recovery and regeneration, and leading up to 2008, Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture. John Minnion brings the city to life with his caricatures and anecdotal biographies and of around 150 exceptional individuals, from King John to Stevie Gerrard. The Beatles, of course, and the Liverpool Poets. Prime ministers (and the only successful assassin of a prime minister), comedians, scientists, philanthropists, bishops, and footballers.

Published 18 March 2008
Paperback 264pp, 144 illustrations
ISBN 978-0-9544499-4-0
Dimensions: 20.8 x 19.6 x 2.4 cm


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"John Minnion's wonderful flowing pen and ink drawings cause these larger-than-life personalities to breathe again in the most beguiling manner"

   — Peter Elson
Liverpool Daily Post