Heroes of Invention: Technology, Liberalism and British Identity, 1750-1914

Heroes of Invention: Technology, Liberalism and British Identity, 1750-1914

by Christine MacLeod
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521153824

ISBN-13: 9780521153829

Pub. Date: 06/24/2010

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

This innovative study adopts a distinct perspective on both the industrial revolution and nineteenth-century British culture. It investigates why inventors rose to heroic stature and popular acclaim in Victorian Britain, attested by numerous monuments, biographies and honours, and contends there was no decline in the industrial nation's self-esteem before 1914. In

…  See more details below

Overview

This innovative study adopts a distinct perspective on both the industrial revolution and nineteenth-century British culture. It investigates why inventors rose to heroic stature and popular acclaim in Victorian Britain, attested by numerous monuments, biographies and honours, and contends there was no decline in the industrial nation's self-esteem before 1914. In a period notorious for hero-worship, the veneration of inventors might seem unremarkable, were it not for their previous disparagement and the relative neglect suffered by their twentieth-century successors. Christine MacLeod argues that inventors became figureheads of various nineteenth-century factions, from economic and political liberals to impoverished scientists and radical artisans, who deployed their heroic reputation, not least to challenge the aristocracy's hold on power and the militaristic national identity that bolstered it. Although this was a challenge that ultimately failed, its legacy of ideas about invention, inventors, and the history of the industrial revolution remains highly influential.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521153829
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
06/24/2010
Series:
Cambridge Studies in Economic History - Second Series
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
476
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements     viii
Abbreviations     xi
List of illustrations     xii
Introduction: inventors and other heroes     1
The new Prometheus     27
The inventor's progress     59
The apotheosis of James Watt     91
Watt, inventor of the Industrial Revolution     125
'What's Watt?' The radical critique     153
The technological pantheon     181
Heroes of the Pax Britannica     212
Debating the patent system     249
The workers' heroes     280
Maintaining the industrial spirit     315
Science and the disappearing inventor     351
Epilogue: the Victorian legacy     383
Bibliography     397
Index     440

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >