Man of Iron: Thomas Telford and the Building of Britain


6 thoughts on “Man of Iron: Thomas Telford and the Building of Britain

  1. Mr. P. J. R. LEWIS Mr. P. J. R. LEWIS says:

    Living close to two of Telford s greatest constructions, the Menai suspension bridge across the Menai straits to Anglesey, and the equally majestic Pontcysyllte Aqueduct along the A5 towards Llangollen, this was a book i was eager to read, and i am certainly not disappointed.I had followed the BBC4 discussion of the book every evening just before the 12.45pm Shipping forecast, and it was incredibly interesting to discover the life of Thomas Telford.Julian Glover, who used to be David Cameron s speech writer, writes in a magnificently exciting style, and once you have started reading the book, its very difficult to put it down.Maybe you need to have some interest in the Industrial past of the country, but to discover the type of person Thomas Telford was, made incredible reading.From very humble beginnings, being the son of a very poor shepherd in the Scottish borders, to becoming one of the nations greatest civil engineers, to even rival the likes of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.A magnificent book, beautifully written.


  2. PeterFGF PeterFGF says:

    There are not many biographies of engineers and I was looking forward to this new biography of Telford My expectations were increased after listening to BBC Radio 4 s adaption of the book as a Book of the Week at the beginning of 2017.My expected pleasure gradually turned to irritation whilst reading the first two chapters The author manages to mention Telford s birthplace, Eskdale, in a hundred and one different and repetitious ways and it became obvious that the planning of the story of his upbringing was poor I persevered with the book but it started to become a matter of endurance The book is verbose and overlong and would have benefited greatly from an editor with a incisive red pen to produce a succinct book.The descriptions of Telford s travels and tribulations are good but these are outweighed by the lack of maps, drawings, photographs and the lack of appreciation of the engineering of Telford s structures There is only one small reproduction of a map of the roads in Scotland and none at all of the roads in Wales I had to look elsewhere to find the location of Clacknaharry mentioned on page 201 it is near Inverness and I am still mystified by the whereabouts of the Pen y Bont falls, page 275 Throughout the book I needed to refer to other sources to identify locations, the design of the roads, buildings and canals Derrick Beckett s 1987 Telford s Britain was useful here My copy has gone down to the local Oxfam bookshop Instead, I will re read Rolt s 1958 biography and acquire Antony Burton s 1999 biography.


  3. Dr. R. Brandon Dr. R. Brandon says:

    I found this a very enjoyable book Unusually I felt there was quite a lot of the author, Julian Glover, in this work That is not to say the book contains information about Glover, but rather you can feel his sympathetic and caring attitude towards his subject Thomas Telford The author gives what feels like a very fair appraisal of Telford, the man and his work, and is not overly generous in any way However, you can sense a feeling of regard for this man who was at times self promoting to the detriment of his close allies and not generous towards those who inspired some of his greatest work.Many of Telford s major projects such as the Menai Bridge, the London to Holyhead Road and the Caledonian Canal went on for many years and thus overlapped in terms of timescale The author handles this difficulty very well and manages descriptions of these undertakings without any narrative awkwardness.This is a book of the man and his projects, so that the specific engineering content of Telford s work is briefly discussed but the nature of the man himself, and of his dedicated team of engineers and project managers who made real his visions and plans, are never forgotten.The author provides a fascinating insight to a subject not often found in current literature, and that is the strategic importance of Telford s road building schemes and their contribution to communication and commerce The impact of Telford s new roads on coach journeys and the strategic importance of linking remote parts of Scotland to the Union were easily as dramatic in the late 18th and early 19th century as anything that was to follow in the railway, or our modern motorway, age.This is a very informative, well written and one of the most thoroughly enjoyable books I have read in quite a while, and is recommended without reservation to all.


  4. Kenneth Barrett Kenneth Barrett says:

    Thomas Telford must have been a difficult man to deal with not because of a capricious nature, for he appears to have been the most solid and reliable of men, but because in an age when travel across the country was by stagecoach, he was continually on the move.From project to project he went, living out of a trunk, for he didn t even own his own home until late in life For than 20 years, his only permanent address was a suite of rooms he rented in the Salopian Coffee House, at Charing Cross Letters, contracts, engineering queries, project proposals pursued him across what really were, in that era, the wilds of Scotland, Wales, and northern England, and even during one massive project, the frozen hinterland of Sweden.That Telford managed to perform such astonishing feats of engineering, creating canals, bridges, roads and harbours, usually to a revolutionary design, can only be attributed to his total dedication for he had no wives, no children, no mistresses He lived for his work.Julian Glover s account tells us as much about life in Georgian Britain as it does about the remarkable engineer, and is an immensely informing and absorbing read.


  5. maconskye maconskye says:

    For a book about a premier engineer , there is only a minuscule amount of information about engineering, I learnt nothing of how problems were analysed, solutions arrived at or constructions built,, a whirl through a busy mans diaries peppered with the authors observations about Britain in the early 19th century


  6. David Arbogast David Arbogast says:

    First, the downside This is written using the format of a standard paperback book with small numbers of black and white photographs bunched together An architectural approach using better quality paper and photography would have greatly improved this book.Now, the upside This is the latest incarnation of the biography of Thomas Telford Mr Glover has done an excellent job in producing a very coherent biography of a man whose life and works were anything but chronological The author has integrated pertinent information from the previous biographies, done his own research, and carefully seasoned to to produce a very enjoyable read This ought to be required reading for all civil engineers and civil engineering students.


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Man of Iron: Thomas Telford and the Building of Britain The enthralling Sunday Times bestselling biography of the shepherd boy who changed the world with his revolutionary engineering and whose genius we still benefit from todayThomas Telford s name is familiar his story less so Born inin the Scottish Borders, his father died in his infancy, plunging the family into poverty Telford s life soared to span almost eight decades of gloriously obsessive, prodigiously productive energy Few people have done to shape our nationA stonemason turned architect turned engineer, Telford invented the modern road, built churches, harbours, canals, docks, the famously vertiginous Pontcysyllte aqueduct in Wales and the dramatic Menai Bridge His constructions were the greatest in Europe for a thousand years, and astonishingly almost everything he ever built remains in use today Intimate, expansive and drawing on contemporary accounts, Man of Iron is the first full modern biography of Telford It is a book of roads and landscapes, waterways and bridges, but above all, of how one man transformed himself into the greatest engineer Britain has ever produced

  • MP3 CD
  • Man of Iron: Thomas Telford and the Building of Britain
  • Julian Glover
  • 23 April 2018
  • 9781408837481

About the Author: Julian Glover

Is a well known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Man of Iron: Thomas Telford and the Building of Britain book, this is one of the most wanted Julian Glover author readers around the world.