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Pool of Life:

The Story of Liverpool in Caricatures

ISBN: 9780-9544499-4-0


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Pool of Life Extra

150 witty caricatures
With fascinating biographies
Telling the remarkable history
Of a great city
All in one book

Liverpool is one of Britain's great ports, whose fortunes rose and rose, then fell, and are 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 by means of anecdotal biographies and engaging caricatures of around 150 exceptional individuals, from King John to Wayne Rooney. Not all are born-and-bred Scousers, but people who have shaped Liverpool or been shaped by it.

There are celebrities, of course: the Beatles, the Liverpool Poets, prime ministers Gladstone and Wilson (and the only successful assassin of a prime minister - John Bellingham). Comedians from Arthur Askey to Ken Dodd. Actors from matinee idol Rex Harrison to Bernard 'Yosser' Hill, and the latest 007, Daniel Craig.

And absolute one-offs like Edward Lear, John Peel and George Melly. George Stephenson, who came to Liverpool to build the world's first passenger railway, and accident-prone William Huskisson MP, the world's first railway fatality, run over by Stephenson's Rocket.

And there are the people who came up with answers to Liverpool's endemic problems: philanthropists like William Roscoe and the Rathbones; Doctor Duncan, Britain's first Medical Officer of Health; wonderful Kitty Wilkinson who by helping out her neighbours started the institution of public baths and wash houses. The two bishops, Sheppard and Worlock - one an England cricketer - whose shared commitment to Liverpool's downtrodden helped defuse decades of sectarian tension, and made the city's cathedrals something more than remarkable architectural landmarks to its people.

And, of course, the footballers - both players and managers - whose successes stimulate conversation and celebration across the city.

NOT JUST LOCAL HEROES
but a diverse, fascinatoing cast of characters, whose reputations resonate way beyond the Mersey. The fact that they are linked by the history of such a singular city makes this a compelling read - even if you've never been to Liverpool.

Publication date: Out Now

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Pool of Life Extra



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