of Brunel by John Horsley
(Bristol City Museums and Art Gallery)
Clark wrote of Brunel in his landmark book Civilisation that he
‘remained all his life in love with the impossible’. Even though
some of Brunel’s projects failed – often spectacularly –
and he was not to see the completion of one of his greatest achievements,
the Clifton Suspension Bridge, he remains widely acknowledged as an engineering
genius. As an indication of his continuing appeal, Brunel came a close second
in the BBC’s Great Britons contest in 2002.
In this section you can follow the links to read about his life, his major projects and critical reactions to his work.
Suggestions for further reading and links to related websites can be found on the Resources and Links page.
For a detailed time line showing the key events in Brunel’s life in relation to other events in Bristol, Britain, science and engineering, arts and letters, and elsewhere, download the Word file from the downloads on the right.