Man of Iron: Thomas Telford and the Building of Britain

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Bloomsbury Publishing, Jan 26, 2017 - Biography & Autobiography - 448 pages
2 Reviews
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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 today

'A biography of great verve ... brings back to vivid life a man who should never have been forgotten' Andrew Marr

'An evocative biography of Britain's greatest civil engineer ... Glover catches the thrill of Telford's engineering quite beautifully' Guardian

Thomas Telford's name is familiar; his story less so. Born in 1757 in 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 more to shape our nation.

A 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.

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User Review  - DramMan - LibraryThing

A worthy read about a remarkable engineer but, echoing the previous reviewer, I came away with no great liking for Mr Telford. His lack of a family life does remove one dimension from his story, which ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Eyejaybee - LibraryThing

I have always been interested in Thomas Telford, largely because he was perhaps the most famous person to have come from the area of Dumfriesshire where my mother grew up. Telford is, of course, now ... Read full review

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About the author (2017)

Julian Glover is a journalist, speechwriter and special adviser. Previously a columnist for the Guardian, in 2011 he was appointed chief speechwriter to David Cameron before in 2012 being made special adviser in the UK Department for Transport. He is married to The Times columnist and former Conservative MP Matthew Parris.

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