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The Life of Thomas Telford

Samuel Smiles

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .to the village, and its driblets of information would thus become diffused among the little community. Matters of public interest were long in becoming known in the remoter districts of the country. Macaulay relates that the death of Queen Elizabeth was not heard of in some parts of Devon until the courtiers of her successor had ceased to wear mourning for her. The news of Cromwell's being made Protector only reached Bridgewater nineteen days after the event, when the bells were set a-ringing; and the churches in the Orkneys continued to put up the usual prayers for James II. three months after he had taken up his abode at St. Germains. There were then no shops in the smaller towns or villages, and comparatively few in the larger; and these were badly furnished with articles for general use. The country people were irregularly supplied by hawkers, who sometimes bore their whole stook upon their back, or occasionally on that of their pack-horses. Pots, pans, and hou. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Very well written insight into one of the founding fathers of civil engineering, with an interesting overview of the history of roads in Great Britain.

Thomas Telford, what a guy! Stonemason, surveyor, bridge engineer, road-man, poet, socialist, philanthropist, and best yet, a Doonhamer! Ticks every