1 Read the text and answer the questions.
Isambard Brunel was a great engineer. He built bridges, railways, tunnels, and boats. But what do we know about his life and work?
Brunel was born in Portsmouth in the south of England on April 9, 1806. His mother was English, but his father, Marc Brunel, was French. His father was a famous engineer in France, but he left his country in 1793. First he went to the United States and then to England, where he married an English woman in 1799. Isambard went to school in England and France, and spoke English and French.
When he returned to England from school in France, Brunel went to work for his father. For his first job, he and his father built a tunnel under the River Thames in London. Then, in 1831, Brunel won a big competition. It was for a bridge across the River Avon in Bristol in the south of England. The Clifton Suspension Bridge took 30 years to build, but today it is one of the most beautiful bridges in the world.
In 1833, Brunel got a new job. He became chief engineer for the Great Western Railway Company, and work began on the train line from London to Bristol. Today, when you travel to Bristol by train, you go over beautiful bridges and through fantastic tunnels – Brunel built them all. In addition to bridges, tunnels and railways, Brunel designed some famous boats. The Great Western, built in 1837, was the first steamship to go across the Atlantic Ocean to the US. And the Great Eastern, built in 1859, was the biggest boat in the world.
Brunel wasn’t a good businessman. The Great Eastern was very expensive to build and he lost his money. He also smoked a lot every day and worked very hard. He was only 53 when he died on September 15, 1859.