|About the Book|
Samuel Morton Peto was one of the giants of Victorian Britain who left behind an impressive legacy, evidence of which can still be seen today. Born in 1809, he was an inspired entrepreneur who was, perhaps more than any other individual, responsibleMoreSamuel Morton Peto was one of the giants of Victorian Britain who left behind an impressive legacy, evidence of which can still be seen today. Born in 1809, he was an inspired entrepreneur who was, perhaps more than any other individual, responsible for establishing Britains path to industrial capitalism. An active Member of Parliament, he was one of the most energetic pioneers of Free Trade and a new industrial, social order. To achieve this avant-garde vision, he borrowed and built everything from railways, docks, and harbours to factory towns, dormitory towns, Baptist chapels, dance halls and holiday resorts.Amongst his many famous projects were the Lyceum theatre, Hungerford Market, and Nelsons Column in London, along with several sections of the Great Western Railway, Curzon Street station in Birmingham, and the London, Chatham & Dover Railway. He was also involved in the creation of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, railways in Algeria and the Crimean peninsula during the war, and he financed the Great Exhibition of 1851, backing Joseph Paxtons Crystal Palace. Petos ambition crossed national borders and encompassed European co-operation and Anglo-French finance. In 1857, he was made a baronetof Somerleyton Hall in the County of Suffolk for his services, but ultimately financial crisis caught up with him and he and his family were ruined. He was declared bankrupt in 1868 and exiled himself to Budapest, before returning to England and dying in obscurity in 1889. This biography is the fruit of many years of research by author Adrian Vaughan, and includes the extensive study of the Peto family archives and rare letters. An excellent work chronicling the life of an amazing talent, this is one book that every historian will be proud to own.