An Economist History Book of the Year
"Elegant, entertaining and frequently surprising." —Miranda Seymour, New York Times Book Review
The Victorians are often credited with ushering in our current era, yet the seeds of change were planted during the earlier Regency period (1811–1820) when the profligate Prince of Wales—the future king George IV—succeeded his father. Around the Prince Regent surged a society of contrasts: evangelicalism and hedonism, elegance and brutality, exuberance and despair. Capturing the Napoleonic Wars, the rise of artists—the Shelleys, Austen, Keats, Byron, Turner—scientists and inventors—Stevenson, Davy, Faraday—and a cast of dissident journalists, military leaders, and fashionistas, Robert Morrison captivatingly illuminates the ways this period shaped the modern world.