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

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

by Christine MacLeod
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0521873703

ISBN-13: 9780521873703

Pub. Date: 12/31/2007

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

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521873703
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
12/31/2007
Series:
Cambridge Studies in Economic History - Second Series
Pages:
480
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Abbreviations; List of illustrations; 1. Introduction: inventors and other heroes; 2. The new Prometheus; 3. The inventor's progress; 4. The apotheosis of James Watt; 5. Watt, inventor of the Industrial Revolution; 6. 'What's Watt?' The radical critique; 7. The technological pantheon; 8. Heroes of the Pax Britannica; 9. Debating the patent system; 10. The workers' heroes; 11. Maintaining the industrial spirit; 12. Science and the disappearing inventor; Epilogue. The Victorian legacy; Bibliography; Index.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >