Canals: The Making of a Nation

Canals: The Making of a Nation


Canals hold a unique place in British culture, with associations of lazy summer afternoons, journeying through lush green countryside. But as Liz McIvor explains in the book to accompany her BBC series, the story of our canals is also the story of how modern Britain was born. It was the canals that helped open up the trade of the Industrial Revolution, furthered the new science of geology, and even ushered in a new form of architecture. The legacy of our canals is all around us.

In Canals: The Making of a Nation, McIvor takes us on a journey across the network of English canals to tell a deeper story of how our waterways changed our lives. It’s a very modern tale, full of high finance and greedy investors, cheap labour and the struggle for workers’ rights, and new frontiers in family and child welfare. It’s a unique and compelling exploration of Britain’s golden age.

About the author

Liz McIvor

Liz Mcivor is the Curator of Social History and Technology at the Braford Museums and Galleries. She studied History and Museology at University College of Wales and University College London, and in addition to presenting What the Canals Did for Us, has contributed to numerous regional and national radio and television programmes. She lives Manchester with her wife and two children. This is her first book.
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