HEYDAY: The 1850s and the Dawn of the Global Age

HEYDAY: The 1850s and the Dawn of the Global Age

BEN WILSON    Book Number: 82916    Product format: Paperback

The 1850s saw a great many world-changing events. As well as the Australian Gold Rush, the Crimean War and the Indian Rebellion, there were huge technological advances, not least the advent of international telecommunications courtesy of Brunel's Great Eastern. The imperial powers of Europe were busily claiming whatever parts of the world they had missed out on in the previous few decades and the British Empire was in particularly (John) bullish mood, pulling off the biggest piece of show-offery ever with the Great Exhibition of 1851. After some time spent studying this decade, it dawned upon Ben Wilson how different it was to our and others' perception of the Victorian era. For many parts of the world the decade was tumultuous - civil wars, huge industrialisation, birth of nations themselves - but in these islands things were calm. Britain was at the height of its powers, influencing and shaping the life and history of a vast proportion of the human race, so the question is how did this happen so swiftly and then wane just as quickly in the 1860s? Wilson's scholarship is unquestionable here, but it is the drama with which he relates these global and national events that truly delights. 462pp paperback with colour and sepia plates and chronology of global events.
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ISBN 9780753829219
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