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A moor in Yorkshire on what, in those parts, passes for a pleasant day
Yorkshire is a very large northern county, remote and desolate in parts - some would say, in most parts - and famed for the brusque self-assurance of its inhabitants. Its county town is York. As may be seen from the picture on the left, so much of their county is moorland its farmers have been obliged to keep sheep: thus Yorkshire's principal trade is in wool and its main industries have generally been those attendant on the production of woollen cloth.

In recent years modern improvements in the manufacturing process have been much resented by the people, whose natural character is one of rude stubborness and extreme self-reliance. (Famously there is a saying in Yorkshire, "Hear all, see all, say now't, tak' all, keep all, gie now't, and if tha ever does ow't for now't do it for thysen." Translated into English this becomes, "Hear all, see all, say nothing; take all, keep all, give nothing; and if you ever do anything for nothing, do it for yourself.") Thus the people little relish the change from their old manner of weaving wool in the privacy of their own homes to the new system of factories. Machine-breaking and other Johannite outrages have therefore been frequent occurrences.

In medieval times Yorkshire was the heart of the kingdom of John Uskglass and a strong feeling of attachment to his memory continues there, especially among the lower orders. John Childermass, for example, who is both a native Yorkshireman and of humble birth, is especially loyal to him.