London: Griffith and Farran, 1859. First edition. With four hand-colored plates and three text illustrations by John Gilbert (including a diagram of a steam engine). Dedicated to Stephenson “by one who owes much to his early influence.”. Spots of darkening to cloth, mostly on back cover, and some rubbing. All edges gilt. Quite clean throughout aside from some foxing to versos of plates. A good, clean copy. Publisher’s red cloth stamped in gilt. Recased, with new yellow endpapers. Octavo, viii, 263, 32 [publisher’s catalogue] pp. Item #17550
Biographical sketches of the lives of scientists James Watt, Richard Arkwright, and Robert Stephenson that portrays them as the heroes of the industrial revolution. The author highlights their rags-to-riches backgrounds and their ambitious scientific accomplishments. Notably, the author also dwells on the positive influence of women in the lives of these three men: their wives, mothers, and, in one anecdote quoted from Mary Anne Schimmelpennick’s memoir of Watt, a friend’s young daughter. While the author focuses on the work of Watt, Arkwright, and Stephenson, she also contextualizes their accomplishments by crediting the women around them.
The author is identified only as “Mrs. E. Burroughs” in her other works, which include The Martyr Land: or, Tales of the Vaudois (1856), Our Eastern Empire, or, Stories from the History of British India (1857), and A Nation’s Manhood: or, Stories of Washington and the American War of Independence (1861). OCLC records no physical copies in North America.