Anniversaries are always good for the reading public, as publishers issue sumptuous books which at other times are often uneconomic. It’s the great Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s 200th birthday, and this has resulted in numerous new books.

For my money this is by far the best. Steven Brindle not only has researched Brunel over many years, but also as an Inspector of Ancient Monuments, has saved some of his most important structures. His authoritative text is supported by lavish illustrations, virtually all from contemporary material, including some of his sketches, published for the first time.

Here is a book that may look like a coffee table book, but is packed with detail, insight, and is a real contribution to Brunel scholarship.


This article is an extract from the full article published in World Archaeology Issue 20. Click here to subscribe

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