Lives of the Engineers: With an Account of Their Principal Works; Comprising Also a History of Inland Communication in Britain

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A political and social reformer, Samuel Smiles (1812-1904) was also a noted biographer in the Victorian period. Following the engineer's death in 1848, Smiles published his highly successful Life of George Stephenson in 1857 (also reissued in this series). His interest in engineering evolved and he began working on biographies of Britain's most notable engineers from the Roman to the Victorian era. Originally published in three volumes between 1861 and 1862, this work contains detailed and lively accounts of the educations, careers and pioneering work of seven of Britain's most accomplished engineers. These volumes stand as a remarkable undertaking, advancing not only the genre, but also the author's belief in what hard work could achieve. Volume 1 charts the engineering of early roads, embankments, bridges, harbours and ferries, as well as the lives of the engineers Sir Hugh Myddelton (c.1560-1631) and James Brindley (1716-72).