The Napoleon of soap
in ‘So clean’
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book. The book sketches out the life of William Hesketh Lever, 1st Lord Leverhulme and the founder of the Lever Brothers' Sunlight Soap empire. It illustrates the rise and triumphs of his business, his homes, his gardens and his collections. It also contains essays on Lever in the context of the history of advertising, of factory paternalism and town planning and of colonial encounters. Using Lever as a case study is particularly strange, given that his legacy, the huge manufacturing and retailing concern of Unilever, counts as one of British industry's great, continuing success stories. The book concludes by resuming something of the narrative and summary format and looking at Lever's extraordinary activity in his final years.

‘So clean’

Lord Leverhulme, soap and civilization

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