Book cover image: Arpingstone (, size and alignment by Elisa Vernazza,

Image of the month archives

October 2019: The image was of Clifton Suspension Bridge designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel when still a young man. The final version was completed by other engineers in the 1860s after he died. The book explains briefly the contest for the bridge design, for which Isambard's distinguished father Sir Marc Brunel may have been an influence. IKB went on to do great things in Bristol including building gigantic steamships and a rapid new railway line to London.
In the same year of that design competition, a youngish Charles Barry also entered one to build a new gentleman's club in central London. It would prove to be the pivotal Travellers Club on Pall Mall, about which more in the book.

September 2019: The image was a family tree of the Brunel and Barry fathers and sons covered in the book (Figure 1). The key relationship between the two families was that of the civil engineers Sir John Wolfe Barry and Henry Marc Brunel who began working together in the 1860s. By the time they both died at the start of the 20th Century, their business partnership had expanded to include Kenneth Wolfe Barry, John's son, as well as eminent civil engineers of the day. Arthur John Barry, Kenneth's cousin, was a partner for a while but then set up his own civil engineering consultancy.Wolfe Barry and partners continued trading in its own name for many years until eventually it merged with another famous consultancy. This new entity was absorbed by Hyder (now part of Arcadis), the company that helped build the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper at the time of writing the book.