This is the definitive story of the men who built the railways – the unknown Victorian labourers who blasted, tunnelled, drank and brawled their way across nineteenth-century England.
Preached at and plundered, sworn at and swindled, this anarchic elite endured perils and disasters, and carved out of the English countryside an industrial-age architecture unparalleled in grandeur and audacity since the building of the cathedrals.
“Vivid and perceptive. Something of a landmark.”—Asa Briggs, The Guardian
“A brilliant book about a magnificent and vanished race of men.”—The Listener