Nevertheless she displays a thorough grasp of the technical detail of her husband’s profession, and marshals the material in a logical and readable sequence. It is a fascinating tale of how a young man building steam launches on a narrow muddy stretch of Thames foreshore, developed the business on a nearby expanded site into one of the world’s leading builders of fast steam vessels, until rising costs forced relocation to the Clyde and led on to even greater achievements.
Another facet of the London operation was the construction of prefabricated river and lake steamers for service abroad. Sent out in kit form and assembled on site, these made a significant contribution to missionary work, and to the prosecution of military campaigns like those to try and rescue, then to avenge the doomed General Gordon.
Although not published until 1923, the bulk of the book was written between 1909 and 1912, then laid aside because Yarrow did not want it published in his lifetime. He relented in 1922, but the gap covering the years of the Great War needed to be filled. A supplement headed “War Service” was added, which does not have the same narrative flow as the earlier chapters, and gives the impression of having been put together in some haste, although the major features of the Yarrow Yard’s war work are covered. This is a well-rounded biography, which truly covers “the life” as well as “the work”. PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A LARGE FILE AND WILL TAKE A WHILE TO DOWNLOAD.