William George Armstrong was a visionary inventor, scientist and businessman who bestrode the 19th-century world like a colossus, bringing global renown to his Elswick works at Newcastle upon Tyne, which employed 25,000 people in the manufacture of hydraulic cranes, ships and armaments. He created Cragside in Northumberland, and planted in its grounds seven million trees; his guests at Cragside included the Shah of Persia, the King of Siam, the Prime Minister of China and two future British kings. Magician of the North is much more than the life of one man, however. It is the story of Britain at the height of empire, riding the crest of industrial and technological success. The Queen and the Prince Consort played a vital role in fostering the scientific ferment, but so did characters such as Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin and Thomas Huxley.
Publisher: McNidder and Grace Limited