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N ageThe industrial capitalist world came into being because of actual businessmen journalists and politicians We meet them in the pages of this fascinating book Their ideas were challenged by the ideas of other people such as Karl Marx William Morris and George Bernard Shaw Here are the lofty and the famous Prince Albert Lord Palmerston Charles Dickens Gladstone and Disraeli and her. I decided to read this only one chapter per day so that I could really enjoy the wonderful writing and the bits that are not normally included in books about the VictoriansGlad to see my friend Dizzy came out well he was always my favourite unlike the patronizing sermonizing GladstoneNice to see the ladies of the time getting kudos tooMaryanne Evans still remains one of my favourite authors along with Oscar WildeWell worth reading and just enjoying

review Å E-book, or Kindle E-pub × A.N. Wilson

The Victorians

E too are the poor and the obscure doctors ministering to cholera victims in the big cities young women working as models for the famous painters the man who got the British hooked on cigarettes the butchers and victims of conflict in Ireland India and Africa In this authoritative accessible and insightful book AN Wilson tells a great story one that is still unfinished in our own day. I would of rated this higher but the last third of the book was a chore to finish It was like Wilson lost his focus which admittedly is difficult given the broad subject and started speculating with various what ifs In a history book a little bit of that can go a long way In addition the subject matter is so broad the Victorians that Wilson was obligated to cover areas I could care less about As long as he was dealing with writers artists politicians religion military events etc I was ok But when he got into philosophies always a bore for me economics snooze and other flotsam jetsam I could feel my eyes glazing over There were also times Wilson would dutifully take up some subject like Jack the Ripper or Sherlock Holmes and you would get a very surface level discussion However other times Wilson shines with discussions of Browning and his poetry or Ruskin and Pater or Zola or the back and forth between Newman and Charles Kingsley Refreshingly he views Kingsley who had a mildly kinky relationship with his wife as the straightforward Christian On the area of Christianity and belief you can t help but be aware of Wilson s own struggles At the time of this book Wilson apparently stopped believing which for all I know may have been influenced by his up close research on those great minds who were swayed by the Age and arguments of Darwin It doesn t mar the book because he treats this subject with complete respect according believers and non believers eual time But from what I hear Wilson now believes again

A.N. Wilson × 9 review

AN Wilson does for the Victorians what Peter Ackroyd did for LondonPeople not abstract ideas make history and nowhere is this revealed than in this superb portrait of the Victorians in which hundreds of different lives have been pieced together to tell a story In an entertaining and often dramatic narrative AN Wilson shows us remarkable people in the very act of creating the Victoria. If you only ever read one book on the Victorians this is the one to read Wilson doesn t invent anything new the categories are familiar We start with the bad old England that Victoria inherited work our way through the Chartists Peel and the Corn Laws the terrible 40s the Italian influence doubt Mesmerism Albert the Great Exhibition the Reform Bills the Crimean War Afghanistan and on and on Wilson is a wonderful storyteller and he fills in the bare bones of history with lots of nice connections curious biographies and back stories His history is people based rather than movement based or full of impersonal forces And of course if you look at the Victorian era through that lens there s plenty to amuse you from Gladstone and his hypocrisy to Disraeli and his wit to the unwitting Freudianisms of Goblin Market to Charles Dodgson s creepy pictures of Alice Liddell and so on virtually forever Wilson is an excellent writer with a novelist s eye for bringing history to life Just don t look to this book for any fresh or systematic thinking about the Victorians But there s plenty here to keep all but the most dedicated professional historian busy for a good long time Read this in conjunction with Dickens or Thackeray or Eliot and you ll soon have a rich dense idea of the fabric and incident of Victorian life


10 thoughts on “The Victorians

  1. says:

    It's uite difficult to know how to describe this book It's non fiction it's history of course it's history but somehownot uite history as one might expect it And yet if you asked me to put my finger on why this isn't a typical history book I think I would struggle It's about a particular time and place; it's written in a

  2. says:

    I didn’t finish this book although I did think it was decent There is some really good information in here but it was kind of slow going and I had a lot of other stuff going on My main complaint is that Wilson assumes the reader already know a lot of the figures he’s talking about This would probably be the case if I was raised and went to school in England but as an ignorant US citizen I kept going “Who? What’s that??” And then

  3. says:

    If you only ever read one book on the Victorians this is the one to read Wilson doesn't invent anything new; the categories are familiar We start with the bad old England that Victoria inherited work our way thro

  4. says:

    Where do you begin if you want to read a broad deep erudite overview of a large historical topic? Usually it reuires looking to older scholarship; “big” histories are rarely attempted by academics these days Ne

  5. says:

    This is very clearly a book the author had inside him for a long timeIt’s everything AN Wilson knows about the Victorian era’s literature politics arts and historical events and the main actors in each of those fields with a strong overlay of personal opinion often viewed through the eye of religion The royals do not really star as the author seems to believe ueen Victoria was largely incidental to everything that happened dur

  6. says:

    I decided to read this only one chapter per day so that I could really enjoy the wonderful writing and the bits that are not normally included in books about the VictoriansGlad to see my friend Dizzy came out well he was always my favourite unlike the patronizing sermonizing GladstoneNice to see the ladies of the time getting kudos tooMaryanne Evans still remains one of my favourite authors along with Oscar WildeWell worth read

  7. says:

    A fascinating period of history I like most of Wilson's work and this did not disappoint

  8. says:

    This is a very good read is very well researched and provides a wealth of information on the Victorians and their social context It was very hard to put down despite its massive length One of the problems Wilson has though is his anno

  9. says:

    I would of rated this higher but the last third of the book was a chore to finish It was like Wilson lost his focus which admittedly is difficult given the broad subject and started speculating with various what ifs In a history book a little bit of that can go a long way In addition the subject matter is so broad the Victorians that Wilson was obligated to cover areas I could care less about As long as he was dealing w

  10. says:

    Hmmmmfor the best book about the Victorians I've read it's not the first I'd recommend or the highest I've rated I'd start with The Suspicions