It is six years since A N Wilson’s brilliant study of The Victorians appeared, soon followed by After the Victorians. Both books received high praise, and this third volume, bringing the story up to date, has been keenly awaited. Now that the trilogy is complete, it can be said with satisfaction that the verve, erudition and wit that distinguished the earlier books are undimmed in this latest work.
It is bulky (almost 500 pages) because the subject is vast – nothing less than the emergence of modern Britain from the wrecked country left behind by the Second World War. That this total transformation, reaching down to the smallest details of our lives, should have occurred within the reign