Handloom weaver Henry Wakefield and his family live in abject poverty in the Manchester, UK area in the early 19th century. He hates the new factories and clashes with everyone from his wife Sarah to a factory agent, a local priest, and reformers. After many setbacks, the family becomes wealthy but this leads to a whole new set of problems and devastating events for this family.
Find out what life was really like in Industrial Revolution times: family life, living and working conditions, poverty and wealth, social change and upheaval, the challenge to the Establishment, the early labour movement, the factory system, opportunities, illness including mental illness, physical disability, child birth, death, romance, orphans, religion, crime, punishment, gambling, prostitution, transport and more. The family gets caught up in the Peterloo melee (see front cover).
This historical novel / family saga includes escapes, rescues, bribery, trickery, society parties, a fire, moving house, flooding, runaways, a road accident, floggings, torture, eviction, daring thefts and robberies, kidnapping, births, a court case, a wedding, rowdy labour meetings, asylum and jail life, a near-death experience, missing children, a cricket match, and plenty of tension between the various characters (about 150 of them plus crowd scenes).