Facebook X YouTube Instagram Pinterest NetGalley
Google Books previews are unavailable because you have chosen to turn off third party cookies for enhanced content. Visit our cookies page to review your cookie settings.

The Brunels: Father and Son (Hardback)

Military > Biographies P&S History > British History P&S History > By Century > 18th Century P&S History > By Century > 19th Century P&S History > Social History Photographic Books Transport > Trains & Railways

By Anthony Burton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 232
ISBN: 9781526786999
Published: 8th June 2022

in_stock

£25.00


You'll be £25.00 closer to your next £10.00 credit when you purchase The Brunels: Father and Son. What's this?
+£4.99 UK Delivery or free UK delivery if order is over £40
(click here for international delivery rates)

Order within the next 8 hours, 22 minutes to get your order processed the next working day!

Need a currency converter? Check XE.com for live rates

Other formats available - Buy the Hardback and get the eBook for £1.99! Price
The Brunels: Father and Son ePub (13.2 MB) Add to Basket £9.98


Isambard Kingdom Brunel has always been regarded as one of Britain’s great heroes and an engineering genius. His father Marc Brunel has not received the same degree of adulation, but this book will show just how important a part Marc played in his son’s works and will also look at his own great achievements. Marc Brunel arrived in Britain as a refugee from revolutionary France, after a short time working in America. He was a pioneer of mass production technology, when he invented machines for making blocks for sailing ships. He had other inventions to his name, but his greatest achievement was in constructing the very first tunnel under the Thames. Isambard spent his early years working for and with is father, who not only encouraged him but throughout his career he was also able to offer practical help. The famous viaduct that carried the Great Western Railway over the Thames at Maidenhead, for example was based on an earlier design of Marc’s. Isambard’s greatest achievements were in revolutionising the shipping industry, where hew as able to draw on his father’s experience when he served n the navy. The book not only looks at the successes of two great engineers, but also their failures. Primarily, however, it is a celebration of two extraordinary mean and their amazing achievements.

Overall, this book is a valuable addition to a collection even when you already have detailed biographies of Isambard or Marc Brunel. The author has obviously researched both engineers extremely well, and has produced a volume that is both written in a lively and interesting style and is an important historical work.

Read the full review here.

Rail Advent

"If you have not already got detailed biographies of the two engineers it is a definite recommendation, and even if this book would supplement existing purchases, I can still recommend it..."

The Journal of The Stephenson Locomotive Society - July/August 2023 - No.942, Volume 99

As featured by

The Broad Gauge Society

Book review featured in

ICE Panel for Historical Engineering Works Newsletter

This is an extremely well researched excellent account of these two remarkable engineering geniuses. The book is written in a lively and interesting style, and is well illustrated.
It is an important historical work that will appeal to many.

The Journal of the friends of the National Railway Museum Winter 2022-23 (No.182)

When asked to review this book I jumped at the chance. I thought I would already know enough about the Brunels, Father and son from my time on the SS Great Britain for this to be a breeze, and I like Anthony Burton as a writer, but nothing prepared me for the adventures that the author has run to ground. It is simply a splendid book and a joy to own!

Anthony Burton has done a great job in pulling together the common ground between the two exceptional Brunels as Father and Son and sharing with us the dramatic effect both their creative geniuses had on each other. I commend this lovely book to our readers!

York Model Engineers Newsletter - January 2023

Featured in

Backtrack Magazine

"The author Anthony Burton is an accomplished writer of industrial and transport history and this book is equal to his talents."

Railway & Canal Historical Society Journal

Plentiful illustrations, in the form of pictures, engravings and drawings, of the creations of both father and son add a great deal to what is an interesting and informative book that likely many EIM readers will enjoy.

Narrow Gauge World Magazine

Featured in

The Railway Correspondence and Travel Society, The Railway Observer - October 2022

The book was an interesting read and I would fully recommend it to others if you’re interested in the industrial world and how it came about in Britain.

Read the full review here

The History Fella

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“The Brunels, Father and Son” is a delightful book. Burton highlights the accomplishments of each man, while showing how the two complemented and assisted each other. He captures both the good and the bad times that each experienced as well as their successes and failures. He also shows how both helped shape the industrial age and illustrates how their legacy continues even in this century.

NetGalley, Mark Lardas

Anthony Burton is well-known and respected by transport nerds like me. His works, The Canal Builders and The Railway Builders sit on many bookshelves, well thumbed. He has now written a book about the astonishingly creative father and son duo, Marc and Isambard Brunel.

Although many people will know of at least one of Isambard’s achievements: building the Great Western railway; designing the Clifton Suspension Bridge; the Great Eastern steamship, fewer will be able to cite one of Marc’s – maybe the Thames Tunnel, still in use every day by the London Overground; but probably not the automation of cutting blocks for sailing ships or machinery for making boots for the British Army that lasted longer than a day’s march. The book presents a stream of projects that Marc and Isambard worked upon, mostly separately but sometimes jointly. The sheer breadth of their ability is awe-inspiring: railways, ships, bridges, boots. I loved the throwaway line “Among Brunel’s friends at this time was Alexander Hamilton…” It was a dinner-party conversation with another of Hamilton’s guests that inspired Brunel to design the blockmaking machine. You may wonder why a machine to make blocks for sailing ships was a big deal? A frigate required 1,500 of them. The British Navy needed 100,000 a year – and they were all being carved by hand until Marc Brunel made his machine.

Burton’s work is highly readable. It offers 200+ pages of information, presented with Burton’s lightly worn in-depth expertise. Although I thought there would be episodes that dragged, there weren’t. This is the closest any non-fiction book has come to being a page-turner, in my several years’ experience of reviewing books!

NetGalley, Colin Edwards

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Such an insightful and knowledgeable read. Isambard Kingdom Brunel has always been regarded as one of Britain’s great heroes and an engineering genius. His father Marc Brunel has not received the same degree of adulation, but this book will show just how important a part Marc played in his son’s works and will also look at his own great achievements. Marc Brunel arrived in Britain as a refugee from revolutionary France, after a short time working in America. He was a pioneer of mass production technology, when he invented machines for making blocks for sailing ships. He had other inventions to his name, but his greatest achievement was in constructing the very first tunnel under the Thames. Isambard spent his early years working for and with is father, who not only encouraged him but throughout his career he was also able to offer practical help. The famous viaduct that carried the Great Western Railway over the Thames at Maidenhead, for example was based on an earlier design of Marc’s. Isambard’s greatest achievements were in revolutionising the shipping industry, where hew as able to draw on his father’s experience when he served in the navy. The book not only looks at the successes of two great engineers, but also their failures. Primarily, however, it is a celebration of two extraordinary mean and their amazing achievements. Absolutely well researched and definitely recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

NetGalley, Michelle Coates

It’s good to have both father and son covered in one volume as their careers are of course inseparably linked. Although the biography of Marc and Isambard are well documented this one volume gives a flavour of the most important aspects of their careers and an excellent starting point. Highly recommended ????????

James Simmonds
 Anthony Burton

About Anthony Burton

Anthony Burton has been writing about the history of transport and technology for fifty years. His books include Remains of a Revolution, The Railway Builders, The Locomotive Pioneers and biographies of Thomas Telford, George and Robert Stephenson and a biography of Marc and Isambard Brunel (due to be published in 2022). He has worked extensively in TV and most recently as historical adviser to the Discovery Channel series Industrial Revelations, More Industrial Revelations and On the Rails.

More titles by Anthony Burton

Customers who bought this title also bought...

Other titles in Pen & Sword Transport...