A superbly told history of Victoria's Britain in all its grandeur and misery, triumph and doubt.
To live in Victorian Britain was to experience an astonishing series of changes, of a kind for which there was simply no precedent in the human experience. There were revolutions in transport, communication, work; cities grew vast; scientific ideas made the intellectual landscape unrecognizable. This was an exhilarating time, but also a horrifying one.
David Cannadine has created a bold, fascinating new interpretation of Victorian Britain. This was a country which saw itself at the summit of the world. And yet it was a society also convulsed by doubt, fear and introspection. Repeatedly, politicians and writers felt themselves to be staring into the abyss and what is seen as an era of irritating self-belief was in practice obsessed by a sense of its own fragility, whether as a great power or as a moral force. Victorious Century catches the relish and humour of the age, but also the dilemmas of a kind with which we remain familiar today.
“Stupendous.The British nineteenth century, in all its complexity, all its horror, all its energy, all its hopes is laid bare. This is the definitive history, and will remain so for generations”
A. N. Wilson
“The finest single-volume history of the nineteenth century”
Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year
“A spellbinding account of Britain's rise and fall as a great power So much has been written about nineteenth-century Britain that a new interpretation seems almost impossible. But in this magnificent history, Cannadine pulls it off . . . destined to become a classic”
Jane Ridley, Spectator
“A work of heroic summary a historian with a fine writing style and a deep understanding of his period”
David Aaronovitch, The Times
“A masterful history”
Christopher Kissane, Financial Times