It would be no exaggeration to say that James Watt (1736–1819) is one of the most venerated of all the inventors and entrepreneurs of the Industrial Revolution. Especially lionized in his country of origin, Scotland, a complex web of myths have
sprung up around him, some of which are grounded in reality, and many of which were actively cultivated by his family and admirers to promote his already considerable reputation after he died. In this new monograph, David Miller draws on more
than 20 years of research into the life and times of the ‘great steamer’—as Watt became known to some in the nineteenth century—to paint a compelling and often intriguing portrait of this hero of the modern age.