An epic portrait presented in an exquisite edition.
For sweep of narrative, comprehensive knowledge of its period and sheer entertainment, no other history of Victorian times can match A. N. Wilson’s epic ‘portrait of an age’. At the young, shy Victoria’s accession to the throne, men like Lord Melbourne and rising stars such as Disraeli and Gladstone had barely started debating the problems of poverty, population growth and parliamentary reform; by her final days, as the Boer War rumbled on in a mad scramble for gold and diamonds, Britain had changed beyond all recognition. The Victorian era witnessed ‘the most radical transformation ever seen by the world’ – in technology, politics, religion and the imperial impact of Britain on the rest of the globe. Wilson broaches key personalities and events of the age, from Dickens to Darwin, the Great Exhibition to Gilbert and Sullivan, the Indian Mutiny to the Irish potato famine, the Pre-Raphaelites to prostitution, and railways to Rider Haggard.
‘The Victorians are still with us,’ Wilson has said, citing post-colonial disputes, two world wars and a Victorian obsession with technology that has stretched all the way to Silicon Valley. Vibrant and energetic, it is no surprise that this book was both a popular and critical success, topping the bestseller list while also finding its way onto academic bookshelves across the world. Wilson peppers his tour de force with sharp asides and vivid character sketches; with a sweeping view of all the glories and failures of the era, his is an unforgettable portrait. As he reminds us, our own age is built – for better or worse – upon the Victorian.
‘The Folio Society edition of The Victorians continues to delight me: it is as rich, handsome and substantial as the Victorian age itself ’
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Review by anon on 19th Mar 2016
"A.N. Wilson reminds us we are still living in the Victorian age,such was its influence.Great book about a great people."
Review by anon on 22nd May 2015
"If your knowledge of Victorian history is that of the classroom, please be assured this book is very different. The main themes of the period are covered in an accessible and interesting way but this ..." [read more]