Synopses & Reviews
From high gothic architecture to the birth of the football league, from the novels of Dickens to the technological marvels of Brunel, the paintings of the era provide an overview that ranges across the whole of Victorian life and culture Jeremy Paxman's unique portrait of the Victorian world takes readers on an exciting journey through the birth of modern Britain. Using the paintings of the era as a starting point, he tells stories of urban life, family, faith, industry, and empire that helped define the Victorian spirit and imagination. To Paxman, these paintings were the television of their day, and his exploration of Victorian art and society explains how artists like Butler, William Powell Frith, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Luke Fildes, and Ford Madox Brown were chronicling a world changing before their eyes. This enthralling history is an opinionated, informed, surprising, and hugely enthusiastic appraisal of the Victorians' influence on modern culture.
"A real contribution to art history, introducing the reader to a rich mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar . . . the book certainly taught me things about the Victorians that I either did not know or had not thought about with sufficient imagination." —A. N. Wilson, author, The Victorians
"A wonderful introduction to the sheer vibrancy of the Victorian era . . . genuinely impressive." —Evening Standard
"[Paxman] writes with a wry sense of humor and a keen sense of history . . . an entertaining tour." —New York Times on On Royalty
"Riveting." —People Magazine four-star review of On Royalty
About the Author
Jeremy Paxman is an award-winning journalist and the author of The English: A Portrait of a People and On Royalty: A Very Polite Inquiry into Some Strangely Related Families.