For enthusiasts,researchers and modellers of the Great Eastern Railway

RH089: The Railway Centenary, LNER 1925.

NEW APRIL 2021.  In 1925 the railways of Britain celebrated their Centenary. To mark the occasion the LNER published this book, entitled 'The Railway Centenary - A Retrospect'.

The chapter headings are:  the Birth of the Railway System; the Stockton and Darlington Scheme; the Locomotive; the Opening Ceremony 1825; and Railways and Mankind.  As well as the text there are several full-page illustrations - scenes, portraits, paintings, engines, documents - on quality paper, three of which are in colour: you can see a list of them HERE.

The book was written by Randall Davies. He was an artist and a fan of nonsense verse, counting Edward Lear as a friend. Here he has written a fresh and lively account of the birth of the railways, with full reference to correspondence between the individuals involved and to early documents.

Of the 49 pages of text, writings in a foreign language total well over a page in all. He offers no concessions to his readership, and provides no translation of any of it. Some is in French, but most is Latin poetry - not the sort written by Virgil, but that which was composed by classical scholars in the nineteenth century. He gives quotations from such a poem about the new railways written in Cambridge by one Matthew Boulton, grandson of the namesake from Boulton and Watt of steam-engine fame. The first verse, used as the book's preface, extols Britain's great gift to the world; the final two verses, later in the book, reflect on recent hellish railway disasters. (Is greater speed over land, the writer reflects, bound to be accompanied by far more rapid journeys to the underworld too?)

Presumably most of the book's readers, in recent times at least, have looked blankly at all those Latin quotations. At last help is at hand, however - a translation of each foreign extract is provided here. Admittedly they are not guaranteed to be totally accurate, since they are the product of grammar-school Latin classes from long ago!

The file is word-searchable and has bookmarks. It will be available to download as soon as payment has been made. You go to your account and click on ‘Downloads’. New customers create an account as they place their order.

File
Pages 94
File Size (MB) 6.4

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