The book Building Passions is about architecture and civil engineering in Victorian Britain.

The context for the story of the Brunels and Barrys is the Georgian and Regency classical styles of architecture - this  predominated in Britain before Queen Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837. Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Charles Barry both came to the fore just before Victoria's reign began by winning, respectively, competitions in 1829 to design the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol and Travellers Club in London. They both went on to do great things which you can read about in the book.

When Queen Victoria's long life ended in 1901, the built environment in Britain and abroad had changed considerably,  as global cities expanded with innovations in the use of new construction materials such as steel and reinforced concrete. The author of 'Building Passions' is undertaking PhD research on aspects of 'pre-Modern' architecture in Belle Epoque France and Belgium.

There is a separate website dedicated to Sir John Wolfe Barry which covers some key aspects of the book with links to information on Tower Bridge and British Standards.