Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century's On-line Pioneers Paperback – February 25, 2014
|New from||Used from|
Enhance your purchase
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
About the Author
Tom Standage is digital editor at the Economist and editor-in-chief of its website, Economist.com. He is the author of six history books, including An Edible History of Humanity, the New York Times bestseller A History of the World in Six Glasses and The Victorian Internet. His writing has also appeared in the Daily Telegraph, the New York Times and Wired. He lives in London.
- Publisher : Bloomsbury USA; Second Edition, Revised (February 25, 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 162040592X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1620405925
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.09 x 0.69 x 7.76 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #95,071 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The books moderate length was written in a well balanced manner. It is quite intertaining and full of interesting storries and facts.
I give Tom Standage a thumbs up for this writing. It has been on my shelf of books to read for some time. I am really glad I picked it up and read it.
I have been in the telecommunications field for over 30 years. I have found this book to be very educational as well. The author defends the title well by making a parallel connection to the Internet of today. I was not disappointed in anyway with Mr. Standage's ability to tell this story. Great job!
Standage recounts the beginnings of the telegraph stretching back into the eighteenth century. He highlights the key figures who developed the telegraph, including Samuel Morse, and the fits and starts along the way that led to the maturation of the technology.
Just as with the Internet in the 1990s, many greeted the telegraph with skepticism in the 1840s, but for most there was excitement about the revolution in communications. Standage describes the spread of the telegraph across the United States and Europe, and recalls the rapturous reaction on both continents when the great human accomplishment of the transatlantic cable was actuated.
Other similarities between the early days of the telegraph and the early days of the Internet included new openings for commerce, love, crime, and use in warfare. Telegraph operators in the 1840s were viewed as cutting edge, much as the first web developers were in the 1990s. The telegraph was eventually eclipsed by other technologies, and Standage closes "The Victorian Internet" by looking at its decline, fall, replacement, and legacy.
One of the chapters talks about a multi-story telegraph office in London, where this floor handled pneumatic tubes carrying messages locally, this floor handled messages traveling within England and this floor handled nothing but international traffic. The parallels with a modern router, handling LAN and WAN traffic, along with VPNs, is unmistakable. Amusing to hear what people in the Victorian Era used for plastic (as that material hadn't been invented yet).
All in all, an interesting, informative and amusing read.
For a cogent and fascinating comparison of the golden age of telegraphy with today's internet, the Victorian Internet nicely fills that niche.
Top reviews from other countries
Finally telegraphy is over-taken by telephony, which allows a greater rapidly of communication and requires no intermediaries. The book closes with some thought-provoking remarks as to how new and revolutionary the Internet really is.
Throughout the material is admirably selected and the writing witty and clear. It is also a self-effacing book: as far as could be seen, the word 'I' (in the sense of 'Tom Standage') appears exactly once - in the acknowledgements section. Strongly recommended. His book on planetary discovery (The Neptune File) is also superb.
also look at "A thread across the ocean, the heroic story of the transatlantic cable" by John GORDON
In particular it convincingly argues that the telegraph and telegrams were the real revolution, in that they provided a global near instantaneous communication system which was a revolutionary change compared with anything which existed before. This was the start of a change which ultimately led to the modern internet and world wide web.