Book Review-‘Liverpool: A history of ‘The Great Port’’ by A. Jarvis

By Malcolm Tull, published October 2020


Adrian Jarvis’s book traces the history of Liverpool, one of Britain’s major ports, from the seventeenth century to the early 1970s. While some may quibble with his description of Liverpool as ‘The Great Port’ there is no doubt about its leading position in the historical hierarchy of British ports. The history of the port is, of course, closely intertwined with that of the city but the author’s main focus is on the port itself. Jarvis has researched and published on the port’s history for over two decades and is therefore very well qualified to write a comprehensive history. He acknowledges the seminal work of Francis Hyde who published his ‘brilliant book’ (p. 2) on the port’s history in 1971 but promises a more critical ‘warts and all’ approach. The book comprises 14 chapters and an epilogue dealing with post-1972 developments by Peter Lucas. It draws on a variety of historical sources but the main ones are found in the records of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board (MDHB). The informative illustrations provided by Ron Jones are a superb addition to the book. Jarvis employs a lively descriptive style to chart the fluctuating and sometimes tumultuous but never dull history of this remarkable port-city…

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Filed under: Irish Sea | Other (Twentieth C) | Other (Eighteenth C) | Twentieth Century
Subjects include: Harbours & Dockyards | Logistics | Ocean Liners & Passenger Craft

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