1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2012
This is a useful little book. However, its title is rather misleading in that the author does cover a much wider range than just family history -- in fact only about a quarter of the book is directly concerned with this. The rest of it gives a good description of working lives on the railway, especially some of the slightly more unusual posts. There is also a concise history of British railways -- armed with which you should be able to conduct an intelligent conversation on the subject in most company. There are (as with most railway books) a few inaccuracies. The extra background material is supposed to help the family historian conduct their investigations more adequately -- whether it will achieve this I don't know but it surely does no harm!
On the topic of family history the author, an academic, explains just about every investigative avenue open to the researcher: all well and good but I suspect the average family historian will not have access to some of the privileged sources of the University academic unless they are very fortunate or have a deep pocket for subscriptions. Nevertheless, if you want to do a thorough job this book will point you in the right direction and certainly if you are an academic researcher -- perhaps just investigating railway employment etc this book has some useful tips.
The book is quite small and conveniently sized -- it will slip into a large jacket pocket or a decent-sized handbag but beware its weight which is deceptive and due to the use of high-quality glossy art paper. The publishers are to be congratulated for producing such a high-quality book at a very reasonable published price and extremely good value when purchased through Amazon's free delivery -- £9.74 is a giveaway.
Had it not been for the slightly misleading title and that the book might possibly be a little over-comprehensive for the average family researcher, I would have rated it five stars rather than four. Notwithstanding all that, this book is highly recommended.