Exploring the rich and fascinating past of the historic counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. We uncover the history of the people, ideas and events that shaped the West Midlands and the world beyond.
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Issue 1 Spring 2013

The West Midlands Enlightenment

The inaugural issue of the exciting new History West Midlands magazine is now available.

Written by historians and researchers from the region, History West Midlands uncovers the stories of the people, ideas and innovations which have shaped the historic counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. It will interest anyone who wants to know more about the region and understand its history.

The first issue focuses on the West Midlands Enlightenment of the 18th and 19th centuries. This was the time when industrialists such as Matthew Boulton, Josiah Wedgwood and John Wilkinson were changing the face of manufacturing and thinkers such as Erasmus Darwin were challenging the established view of the world.

To read more, please click on the titles to view the full articles.

About Us
Introducing the History West Midlands team

Malcolm Dick, Editor-in-Chief, introduces the History West Midlands project and welcomes readers to the first issue of the magazine

Charts a selection of significant people and events in the Age of Enlightenment

News and Events
The history scene in the West Midlands

The West Midlands and the Industrial Enlightenment
Peter Jones
Scientific thinking and the region

Shapers of the West Midlands Enlightenment
Philip Carter
Reveals the less familiar Enlightenment figures

Herefordshire and the Enlightenment
Mark Curthoys
The learned leisure pursuits of the Knight brothers

Joseph Wright and the Derbyshire Enlightenment
Paul Elliott
Highlights Joseph Wright of Derby

The Derby Philosophical Society: A Force Behind Local and National Enlightenment
Paul Elliott
Derby and its place in the Enlightenment

Was there a Shropshire Enlightenment?
Barrie Trinder
The networks and achievements in the county

The Enlightenment Landscape
A regional map

Places to visit
Galleries, museums and places of interest

Matthew Boulton and the Soho Enterprises
Rita McLean
The innovations of a Birmingham industrialist

‘Iron-Mad’ Wilkinson
Sue Tungate
One man and his empire of iron

Industry and Genius: The Words and Letters of John Baskerville
Caroline Archer
Changing type design and printing

Uniting Art and Industry: Josiah Wedgwood, Father of English

Gaye Blake-Roberts
Ceramic design and manufacture in Stoke-on-Trent

Erasmus Darwin: An Unacknowledged Genius?
Alison Wallis
Lichfield and the Enlightenment

A Philosophical Romance: Women, Education and Enlightenment
Kate Iles
Thomas Day’s determination to educate a wife for himself

Books and websites reviewed

Recommended websites

In the History West Midlands Shop

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Issue 1 Spring 2013