Genius' is an over-used, but rarely-accurate, description applied to remarkable figures. In the case of Richard Trevithick, however, its use is not only apt, but could even be regarded as something of an understatement. Philip Hosken's 'Genius' offers a perfect introduction to the great engineer. Combining detailed and original research, the result is a clearly stated, unbiased and readable account of his life and achievements. From childhood and early motivation, through feverish experimentation and frustration, to the eventual triumph of his revolutionary high pressure cylindrical boiler, 1801 road engine and the world's first railway locomotive, the author explains how and why Trevithick became a giant of invention and innovation. Laying to rest myths regurgitated by less-diligent writers, while not neglecting the major contributions to the story of Papin, Newcomen, Savery and others, Hosken employs the kind of scientific rigour which the protagonist of his book might recognise and approve. If you only read one book about Richard Trevithick, make sure it's this one.