4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An absolutely brilliant true history - of Telegraphy,
This review is from: The Victorian Internet (Paperback)
Victorian Internet is a wonderful book - I absolutely recommend it to anyone with the remotest interest in how science has shaped out world. It describes the emergence of a technology which is hailed at its outset as "shrinking the world" and able to "connect distant parts of the world instantly" - sound familiar ?
But this is the fascinating tale of Telegraphy - which - incredibly - pre-dates electricity itself, having begun in Napoleon's time as a mechanical way of signalling from hilltop tower to hilltop tower - for wartime messaging. Electricity of course made it "fly", and the tale is told rivetingly, with intruiguiing comparisons between the telegraph of a century ago and the internet of today. All the same human issues are there - down-the-wire romances between operators - hackers - and amazing technological misunderstanding (like the mother who took a plate of fresh food to a telegraph office, in the hope of sending it down the wire to her son, who was fighting at the front in the Crimea). Amazing - and a perfect Christmas present for every Net-Head, too. Well done Tom Standage.