Derby's history dates back over 2,000 years to when the Celtic Brigantine tribe inhabited the area on the banks of the River Derwent. Over the centuries Derby grew as an important administrative and trading centre. Its strategic position on the banks of the River Derwent was ideal for the early experimentation of water power and industrialisation. The building of England's first silk mill in 1717 was a breakthrough. Its success led the way for the Industrial Revolution, creating a model followed by others throughout the world. The town was the power centre of the nineteenth-century railway boom, and in 1904 the first car was produced at the newly formed Derby works of Rolls-Royce. The face of Derby has changed considerably. It's still a major commercial centre at the forefront of technical research and industrial development, but it's also a vibrant new city with a varied and exciting history.
Well-known local author Maxwell Craven takes the reader on a fascinating A-Z tour of the city's history, exploring its lesser-known nooks and crannies, and along the way relating many a tale of the most interesting people and places. Fully illustrated with photographs from the past and present, A-Z of Derby will appeal to residents and visitors alike.
Maxwell Craven has written extensively on architecture and antiques for the Georgian Group Journal, Country Life, and various local magazines. He is author of A Derbyshire Armory (1991), Richard Keene, Pioneer Victorian Photographer (1993) and Derby, an Illustrated History (2nd edn. 2007). He is a former chairman of Derby Conservation Area Advisory Committee, a member of Derby Cathedral FAC, a Trustee of Derby Bridge Chapel and the Derby Museums Trust. He was awarded an honorary DLitt.by the University of Derby; he was made MBE and elected FSA in 1999.