4 ft 8 1/2 and All That: A Sort of Railway History

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9780711000612: 4 ft 8 1/2 and All That: A Sort of Railway History
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For conventional historians, the classic 1066 and All That provided an entertaining alternative account of British history; however, its authors committed the cardinal sin of ignoring the history of railways and so 4ft 8 and All That: A Sort of Railway History was born. As the author writes in his introduction: 'What is the Englishman able to do which lesser breeds find impossible, apart from watching cricket matches? Why, of course, he can laugh at himself! Though I must warn anyone outside the pale that it is permitted for him to laugh at us! Well now, RAILWAYS. Those pieces of steel which snake over the green island in ordered parallels, and only occasionally go mad and get knotted up at places like Clapham. They are our national nerves, and if you have nerves, you must expect headaches!'Taking an irreverent look at railway history, 4ft 8 and All That: A Sort of Railway History is a humorous portrayal of the origins of Britain's railway network culminating in an A-Z glossary, which includes such entries as 'N - NUMBERING. Oh, now for it. This superfluous practice was invented by a certain Mr Allan who was a numismological wizard - and a GREAT BENEFACTOR.' Illustrated throughout with line drawings and cartoons, 4ft 8 and All That: A Sort of Railway History is an antidote to all those highly detailed histories that identify, sleeper by sleeper, the intricacies of operation of some obscure industrial line in the Outer Hebrides.First published in 1964 and reprinted four years later, 4ft 8 and All That: A Sort of Railway History is a fascinating period piece. With nostalgia for the past growing as the years pass, now is an ideal time to unleash again upon an unsuspecting public this alternative version of Britain's railway history.

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Synopsis:

Taking an irreverent look at railway history, "4ft 81/2 and All That: A Sort of Railway History" is a humorous portrayal of the origins of Britain's railway network culminating in an A-Z glossary, which includes such entries as 'N - Numbering. Oh, now for it. This superfluous practice was invented by a certain Mr Allan who was a numismological wizard - and a great benefactor.' Illustrated throughout with line drawings and cartoons, "4ft 81/2 and All That: A Sort of Railway History" is an antidote to all those highly detailed histories that identify, sleeper by sleeper, the intricacies of operation of some obscure industrial line in the Outer Hebrides.

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