Wednesday, August 13, 2014



Michael Foley has written at least twenty books on aspects of war and peace in my own county of Essex, and also Kent and London.  Now he has researched another interesting topic, that of of Britain's Railway Disasters, sad though they are. Michael traces the history of the railway and how the idea of running trucks on rails comes from a very much earlier period.  Rails were used to carry trucks in mines in Europe as far back as the sixteenth century. Then, of course, the trucks were pulled by horses or the miners themselves. There are so many current enthusiasts thinking in a rather sentimental reverie about the ancient steam trains but I'm sure the aspect of danger has not really been addressed.  Michael Foley has spent years studying the social context of how railways were observed, particularly during the Victorian period and his book really opens the readers' eyes. Beautifully illustrated with numerous unseen photographs and drawings, it is fascinating and published by at £19.99 (US $39.95)  ISBN 178159379-5  

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