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The Greater Genius?: A Biography of Marc Isambard Brunel
Ian Allan

The Greater Genius?: A Biography of Marc Isambard Brunel

Regular price £10.00 £0.00 Unit price per

Marc Isambard Brunel, father of the nation's favourite industrial engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, should have as great a claim on fame as his well-championed son. I. K. Brunel's engineering achievements were a triumph but the technical feats accomplished by Marc were arguably even more remarkable. The crowning glory of his career, for which he was knighted, was the construction of the first tunnel under a river in the world. Although I. K. Brunel is popularly credited with the tunnel under the Thames from Rotherhithe to Wapping, it was Marc Brunel who was responsible for its design and construction.

Born and brought up in France, Marc Brunel's life was a triumph of perseverance over adversity. Fleeing the French Revolution, he first found himself in post- revolution America, before travelling to Britain in search of his fortune. Arriving in the midst of the French Revolutionary Wars, when Britain was at war with France, Brunel's talents were such that he overcame any suspicions about his French origins. He soon became linked to many of the greatest engineers and influential people of the time and found work at Woolwich Arsenal and with the Royal Navy at Portsmouth, installing the first mass- production assembly line in the world. His colourful life included being imprisoned for debt in the King's Bench Prison and he was involved with many of the greatest engineering triumphs of the first half of the 19th century.

In this book, the first major biography dedicated to Sir Marc's life and work since 1970, Harold Bagust narrates Brunel's life from his birth in France, through his struggle for recognition in Britain to his ultimate acceptance and success and reassesses his pivotal role in establishing Britain's industrial success in the 19th century. The author's well-researched text is supplemented by complete details of Sir Marc's impressive range of patent applications.

All those with an interest in the Brunel family, both father and son, as well as those interested in the history of Britain's engineering triumphs during the Industrial Revolution will find The Greater Genius? a fascinating and provocative read and an invaluable work of reference.

Hardback with dust jacket, 21x26cm, 160 pages, black & white and colour illustrations

Condition: Good/Very Good

ISBN: 9780711031753

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Updated: 2 April 2024