BAINES, Edward.

History of the Cotton Manufacture in Great Britain: with a notice of its early history in the East, and in all the quarters of the globe; a description of the great mechanical inventions…and a view of the present state of the manufacture…

London: H. Fisher, R. Fisher, and P. Jackson, [n.d.]1835

8vo, pp. (xviii), (9)–544, frontispiece portrait of Richard Arkwright and 17 engraved plates (1 double-page, 1 folding), text illustrations. Without the half-title. Contemporary tree calf, spine richly gilt in compartments and with red morocco label, gilt borders on sides, marbled edges and endpapers. A lovely copy. Armorial bookplate of Edward Nicholas Hurt.

FIRST EDITION. An important history and the standard work on the history of the cotton industry. “The basic history of the Lancashire cotton industry with a tremendous amount of statistical data collected contemporaneously with the events described and with the writing of the book. Also contains first-hand descriptions of the great inventions of the beginning of the industrial revolution, those for spinning and weaving” (Ron, Bibliotheca Tinctoria, 61). In this work, Baines, who was MP for Leeds, surveys cotton manufacture from its origins to its ‘second birth’ in England, and focuses on the current state of machinery, trade and working conditions in all aspects of the business, and its outputs, including cloth, lace, stockings and cotton wool. This comprehensive work was important for its detailed analysis of a vital commercial activity, and remains so today for the historical information it contains. This issue has 17 plates and the preface is dated at Leeds January 28, 1835; another issue exists with 14 plates and the preface undated. An outline, as Baines calls it, of this work was included in his father’s four-volume History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster.


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