Isambard Kingdom Brunel: The Life of an Engineering Genius

Isambard Kingdom Brunel: The Life of an Engineering Genius

by Colin Maggs


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In his time, Isambard Kingdom Brunel was the world's greatest engineer. His list of achievements is truly breathtaking: the Thames Tunnel, the first underwater tunnel in the world; the SS Great Britain, the first propeller-driven ship; the Clifton Suspension Bridge, then the longest span of any bridge in the world; and the Great Western Railway. History has been kind to his memory: many of his creations still exist and he is lauded by historians as a truly "Great Briton." In this full-scale biography Colin Maggs presents a portrait of a complex, ambitious, and determined genius. But the Brunel that emerges is not without flaws. He made mistakes, both personal and technical—he wasn't always right, but never admitted he was wrong. Drawing on Brunel's diaries, letters, and business papers, we see the real Isambard, a more human figure, emerging from behind the towering structures and machines he created.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781445671369
Publisher: Amberley Publishing
Publication date: 03/01/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 837,428
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Colin Maggs is one of the country's foremost transport and engineering historians and has written more than 100 books as well as innumerable magazine articles. In 1993 he received the MBE for services to railway history.

Table of Contents

1 The Brunels, 1806-17 7

2 Youthful Training, 1817-24 15

3 First Endeavours, 1825-29 22

4 An Engineer in Bristol, 1829-31 61

5 The Great Western Railway, 1832-36 71

6 Marriage to Mary, 1836 108

7 A Steamship for the Atlantic, Great Western 129

8 The Great Western Railway Opens 141

9 SS Great Britain, the Ship that Changed the World 170

10 The Launch of SS Great Britain and More Railways, 1843-47 186

11 Another Tunnel, an Exhibition and Paddington Station, 1847-52 210

12 A Royal Bridge, a Submarine and a Hospital, 1852-56 224

13 Iron Colossus, SS Great Eastern 240

14 An Engineer to the End, 1859 260

Appendix 1 Significant Dates 277

Appendix 2 Brunel's Main Engineering Projects 278

Appendix 3 Dimensions of Ships 279

Appendix 4 The Rooms in 17 and 18 Duke Street 280

Appendix 5 Household Staff, 1851 Census 282

Appendix 6 Selection of Letters Revealing Aspects of Brunel's Life 283

Bibliography 301

Index 303

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