The Beauty of Transport: The Book(s)

Once upon a time, there was an idea to turn The Beauty Of Transport into a book.

I’d never really given any serious thought to it (despite occasional kind suggestions from @PhilTonks2 and a couple of others). But one day I was contacted by a literary agent who thought the idea had some merit. We had a meeting and a few exchanges of emails and I ended up drafting the structure and a sample chapter of a chapter book version, as well as some pages of a coffee table book version. The plan was to adapt and re-edit many of the articles in The Beauty of Transport‘s archive into themed chapters or sections with some new material added.

The idea for the chapter book was for it to be part gazetteer, part transport design and architecture review, and part popular transport history (mostly because I’m not an academic historian and lack the intellectual rigour to write a proper transport history).

The coffee table book was simpler – big pictures and a small amount of text for each entry.

Neither version got further than a rough outline of the book, and some sample pages or a chapter. My favourite was the chapter book version, and you can read the outline and sample chapter here:

The Beauty of Transport book sample chapter

Had it gone to publication it would have had a map at the beginning of every chapter, and illustrations throughout. As a sample, it’s just the words.

Everyone else’s favoured option was the coffee table version, and you can see the sample pages of that idea here:

The Beauty of Transport book (coffee table version) sample pages

The idea fell by the wayside eventually, my literary agent no doubt realising that an ambitious sales forecast would be in the region of 10 books, with 80% of those bought by my family. The barely started books have been cluttering up my hard drive ever since so they might as well escape onto the web in case anyone finds them of interest.

I should probably point out that neither of the files have been properly proof read nor fact checked. Any mistakes will be mine, as usual.