‘Death, Dynamite and Disaster: A Grisly British Railway History’ by Rosa Matheson

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The early railways of Britain revolutionised public transport and helped the Industrial Revolution flourish. Lines can now be found right across the body of the country—linking large cities and tiny towns alike.



Rosa Matheson’s Death, Dynamite and Disaster: A Grisly British Railway History explores and dissects the gruesome story behind the creation of the country’s railway network. The book plunges into the terrible happenings of the early railway including the Necropolis Railway (a line to transport dead bodies away from overcrowded London graveyards) and the process of digging up long-dead bodies to make way for new line. In addition to this the book documents the many horrific accidents and deaths that occurred whilst building Britain’s rail system.

· An exploration of the horrible history behind the British railway system—documenting life for the workers on the early lines and the horrendous conditions they endured.

· Looks closely at the wider social implications brought about by the construction—including the deadly ‘Dynamite Wars’ of the London Underground in the 1880s and 1890s.

·  Supported with stunning illustrations and photographs taken from the period.

The author Dr Rosa Matheson is Swindon’s best-known railway author. A long-time enthusiast of Swindon Works, GWR and women’s railway history, she has a large collection of memorabilia and has written a number of books and articles on her pet topics. She is also active in presenting talks to the community. She has previously written The GWR Story, Apprenticeship and Training in GWR’s Swindon Works, TRIP: The Annual Holiday for GWR’s Swindon Works, and The Fair Sex: Women and the GWR for The History Press. She lives in Wiltshire.