The Life of George Stephenson, Railway Engineer
A political and social reformer, Samuel Smiles (1812-1904) was also a noted biographer in the Victorian period, paying particular attention to engineers. His first biography was of George Stephenson (1781-1848), whom he met at the opening of the North Midland Railway in 1840. After Stephenson died, Smiles wrote a memoir of him for Eliza Cook's Journal. With the permission of Stephenson's son, Robert, this evolved into the first full biography of the great engineer, published in 1857 and reissued here in its revised third edition. This detailed and lively account of Stephenson's life, which proved very popular, charts his education and youth, his crucial contribution to the development of Britain's railways, and his relationships with many notables of the Victorian world. It remains of interest to the general reader as well as historians of engineering, transport and business.