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Ingenious Britain (Hardback)

101 Innovations that Changed the World

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Sport P&S History > British History P&S History > Humanities > Language & Literature P&S History > Social History P&S History > Social Science & Culture

By Steven A T Williams
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 32 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399034890
Published: 14th March 2024



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Britain has a rich and spectacular history.

It is a core country in the development of the modern world. Indeed, as the first industrial nation, there is a strong case that Britain is its primary cause, and it certainly isn’t easy to imagine our 21st century lives without its positive influence and the moments of genius from its people; examples of which are all around us.
Its intellectual achievements are exceptional, spanning more than a thousand years and comprising a fusion of people, systems, ideas, inventions, innovations, theories and explorations that are still utilised across the globe today, shaping the world in which we live and breathe on a daily basis.

This book provides a universal view of British history’s positive impact on the modern world, and does so, rather uniquely, through tangible examples including scientific endeavour, artistic style, musical talents, author creativity and inventors’ curiosity, all of which have significantly shaped and benefitted the modern world.

While history is broad and complex, the author simplifies and shortens each account into a deliberately concise overview of a historical development that can be easily digested and used as a springboard for further reading.

British ingenuity is widely diffused across so many different fields, from entertainment, sport, literature and gastronomy through to philosophy, engineering, medicine and science. This book gives one hundred and one examples of it.

A varied and surprising number of British scientific breakthroughs, inventions and inputs into modern society. There were quite a few opportunities to say ”I didn’t know we thought of that” throughout the book. A fun and interesting read.

NetGalley, Rolf Bachelor

Very interesting with a few surprises. The good old wheelie bin and automatic kettle. But the one that holds in my memory the strongest is the emergency number and how young it still is. I'd love to see an American and Australian version of this book.

NetGalley, Belle Hart

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Ingenious Britain - 101 Innovations that Changed the World by Steven A T Williams is a delightfully enlightening read about Britain's dynamic and sometimes not so dynamic contributions to the modern world.

Williams presents the facts in an engaging and affable way, almost as if you are chatting with a friend and this is exactly the right tone for a book of this nature. It goes beyond trivia and into the realm of interesting information, exploring each innovation, how it came to be, who created it, why they did so and the impact it had. Such as the first factory was built in Derby by John Lombe over 300 years ago and the building is still there today. Another example is the invention of the friction match, whereby a London Chemist, Samuel Jones, expanded on the work by French chemist Jean Chancel into self-combusting chemicals and made an invention that endures to this day.

The layout makes for easy reference, each section full of fascinating innovations. A wonderful book for lovers of trivia, but more so, for lovers of history Very well written, I absolutely loved this book.

NetGalley, Ink Reads

Seven Stunning Ways Kent Impacted World History.

The Kent Review

What a fantastic book this is.

Ingenious Britain is an unbelievably easy and entertaining read that provides so much fascinating information, trivia and history which is weaved together in concise chapters.

The style of writing is entertaining, interesting and kept me engaged, indeed it proved quite hard to put it down.

I cannot think of another book, that offers so much information, across so many different fields, in such an easy to consume manner.

Johnathan Gregory

About Steven A T Williams

Steven was born in Canterbury, Kent where he lived for many years before travelling extensively, visiting seventy-two countries across the world and living in four, much of which, was during his time as a historical tour guide across England and Europe. He has since built a career in the City of London working in investment management, whilst also pursuing his passion for British history, having researched it for over 20 years. He holds a first class undergraduate degree, a distinction in his masters from Queen Mary, University of London and has been elected to Canterbury District Council for two consecutive terms of office.

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