A time of restoration and 18th Century drama revealing five men who created the biggest industrial city, civilisation had ever seen. They were the Iron Masters, masters of metal and men. Their cannons saved a kingdom, forged the greatest empire in the world and changed the history of the human race.
Intrigue, bribery, adultery and murder were common in Merthyr Tydfil, a town where the furnaces burned day and night, the sun seldom pierced the soot filled sky and the Iron Masters ruled without pity.
Nye Vaughn, a humble farm boy, walked to Merthyr to find his destiny, unaware that a war was coming which would engulf the known world and make bold men rich. To fight Bonaparte, Britain needed cannons, thousands of them. Vaughn built the largest foundry of them all and made his fortune but, when the world changed, the iron behemoth he constructed turned on him.
Graham Watkins joins the ranks of historical authors as he weaves fiction and fact together with a pace that makes the reader turn the pages. The Iron Masters is a story of family, greed, betrayal and war. It's scope is epic from Wales, to Baltimore, from the age of sail to steam railways, from the Battle of Trafalgar to the defiant raising of the American flag over Fort McHenry, signalling the confidence of a new, powerful nation. Many of the characters and events are true and reveal an amazing time in our history.
In his American book review, Alex Dunbar compares The Iron Masters with the writing of C.S. Forester and Margaret Mitchell, and adds, 'The Iron Masters is an epic tale covering half a century as Nye Vaughn fights his way from humble beginnings to create one of the most powerful families in Wales. Vaughn isn't Rhett Butler, he's a more complex character, but his story is equally compelling.' Gone with the Wind was written by one of the great classic authors and Forester's Hornblower sea stories are considered to be some of the best fiction written.
Above all, The Iron Masters is a book about extraordinary men and women and how they deal with life’s challenges. If you enjoy a classic novel, are interested in the Napoleonic wars or Georgian Britain this is one of the best books to read.
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