The Solway Country - the lands surrounding the inner Solway Firth - constitutes one of the many small regional worlds of the British Isles that are remarkable for the ways in which their landscapes evoke a powerful sense of territorial identity rooted not only in their physical appeal, but also in the richness and distinctiveness of their human history and geography. The Solway Country is an archetypical but hitherto little known exemplar of places like these.This book captures the spirit and substance of the Solway Country's allure by means of a series of layered narratives dealing with its natural milieu, its past social and political turmoil, its changing forms of rural and agrarian life, and its responses to the industrial and urban forces that were unleashed in Britain after the eighteenth century. The Solway Country has the added charm of being partly in England and partly in Scotland, so that its personality partakes of elements of both. At the same time, the region exhibits a composite geographic unity derived from the central physical feature of the Solway Firth itself and from the many common aspects of local life and livelihood that have left deep imprints on the landscape. This unity is expressed symbolically in the peculiar hybrid culture of ballads and songs that emerged alongside the theft, murder, and mayhem that raged in the Anglo-Scottish marchlands in the days of the border reivers.