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George Hudson: The Rise and Fall of the Railway King Tom Arnold

George Hudson: The Rise and Fall of the Railway King

Tom Arnold

Published December 17th 2004
ISBN : 9781852854010
Hardcover
320 pages
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 About the Book 

* The Robert Maxwell of the nineteenth century* Victorian England s greatest capitalist* Brought down by a shareholder s questionThe building of the railways in Britain in thenineteenth century was the greatest ever industrialundertaking in the world to that time.Financed byprivate enterprise rather than the state, the schemesto build new lines were characterised both by theirambition and by their need for huge amounts ofcapital.The most ambitious of all of the individualentrepreneurs, and for long the most successful,was George Hudson, the Railway King , whoseestablishment of York as the hub of an ever-growingnetwork of lines brought him huge wealth andgreat fame.Already a wealthy businessman and Lord Mayor ofYork before the advent of the railways, Hudsonseized the opportunity they presented with bothhands.He became an MP, lived in style andentertained lavishly.While his early lines wereprofitable, later ones were not.Ever more deeplycommitted, at a time when accounting standardswere lax, he hid inconvenient figures until broughtdown by a question at a shareholders meeting in1849.Disgraced, he fled to the Continent, hisname synonymous with fraudulent capitalism at itsmost brazen.This new biography is the fullestexamination to date of an extraordinary and complexman and his career.