|The Evolution of the Railways and how they stimulated and excited Engineers, Architects, Artists, Writers, Musicians and Travellers.
This book is about the evolution of the railways and about the engineers and architects who made them possible. It is crammed with stories about wonderful machines and some of the world's greatest railway systems. A large part of the book details the way the growth of the railways inspired artists, writers, classical music and folk music.
It tells how artists, writers and travellers - who had never before seen or imagined these extraordinary machines, powered by fire and water and belching smoke, steam and noise - responded to the whole concept of railways.
Steel Wheels describes the feats of the engineers who designed locomotives and bridges that made the world marvel and presents the work of the architects who created astonishing buildings for the new world of the railway.
In the second half of the 19th century artists and writers became excited and enthralled by the new age of railways and trains. These were new subjects to paint or to write about; a new landscape with unfamiliar machines of fire, smoke, noise and speed. It was not only the trains and rails that excited their interest, it was also the drama of the great railway stations that inspired them.
They saw crowd scenes of meetings and farewells taking place in architectural surroundings as different, as modern, and as new as the trains themselves. The world of the railway and the train became popular subjects for paint, prose, poetry and song.
Chapter by chapter the book outlines the ways in which railways were a source of ideas and even of inspiration for writers, and how they were depicted in art, from the earliest lithographs to surrealist painting. It covers the emergence of railway photography as a genre, the role of the railways in the movies and in music and it gives accounts of rail journeys made by all kinds of travellers from the very rich to the dispossessed.
Andy Garnett's Steel Wheels is a celebration of the railways and of their enduring effect on our collective imagination.
By A F Garnett
Hardback. 156 x 234mm. 288 pages
12 line drawings