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This work is a large scale historical treatment of the relationship between English law and the rise of a leading sector of 19th century industrial enterprise. The book examines the impact of English common law and lawyers on the early steam railway industry, and narrative chapters examine a range of interactions between early railway capitalism and the evolving culture, doctrine, and procedures of Victorian lawyers.
Subjects considered in depth include the legal ramifications of the great railway manias, law and the infiltration of the English countryside, railway accidents, corporate monopolism, and the organization of Englands first corporate legal departments.