Edward Everett Root Publishers Co. Ltd.


ISBN 9781911204237  Paperback   £19.99    Order
ISBN 9781911204251  Hardback    £40.00    Order
198 x 129mm. 360pp; 28 illustrations; 2 maps.
Classics in Social and Economic History series, no.3.

The Age of the Railway  

A Social History of 19th Century Britain.  

H. J. Perkin

About this book

This well-illustrated work by a distinguished social historian narrates the epic of the great age of railway history and development. It sets this in the context of the social history and its contemporary impact on society as a whole. 

It shows authoritatively how the railways revolutionised everything - being the most spectacular change of the Industrial Revolution. 

This impact continues to shape our life today, as the railways transformed the economic life of whole nations and transformed the quality of life itself.

The author shows how railways helped break down class barriers, and established quite new ones which persist today.

The railways radically altered the pattern of leisure, too, in upper, middle, and working class life. And they made possible the growth of vast suburban areas, and ushered in the computer age.

In so many ways the railways formed the social structures of today's industrial advances, as the author shows. This is a very readable and highly individual social history full of valuable insights.

About the author

Harold Perkin was Professor of Social History, University of Lancaster, being the first such Professor appointed in Britain. 


​An “outstanding and original book.” – Terry Coleman, New Society.

“a lively introduction to English society from the late 18th century to the First World War.” – Professor John Saville, The Guardian.