Many associate the Victorian era with austere social attitudes and filthy factories. But in his bold and provocative book, Jacob Rees-Mogg takes up the story of twelve landmark figures to paint a very different picture of the age: one of bright ambition, bold self-belief and determined industriousness. Whether through Peel’s commitment to building free trade, Palmerston’s deft diplomacy in international affairs, or Pugin’s uplifting architectural feats, the Victorians transformed the nation and established Britain as a preeminent global force.
Now 200 years since the birth of Queen Victoria, Jacob Rees-Mogg looks at the lessons of the of the past to consider our future as a a nation.
“A full-throated, clear-sighted, well-researched and extremely well written exposition of the Victorians and their values. Rees-Mogg’s choice of a dozen Victorian luminaries allows him to defend an era too often ignored or written off in British history, and to compare it to our modern day in a way that readers will find gripping but also chastening,” Andrew Roberts