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After the Victorians: The Decline of Britain in the World
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After the Victorians: The Decline of Britain in the World

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  123 ratings  ·  21 reviews
A Guardian Favorite Book of the Year

A. N. Wilson's landmark sequel to The Victorians is a colorful, panoramic portrait of the era that began with the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 and extended to the dawn of the Cold War in the early 1950s. Expertly mapping the connections between military, political, social, and cultural history, After the Victorians is an incisive chr
Paperback, 624 pages
Published September 19th 2006 by Picador (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 356)
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Lynne Stringer
This book was generally pretty good, although not as compelling as some other history books I've read. It was still interesting enough, though.
Christopher Sutch
I found this sequel to _The Victorians_ not quite as good as its predecessor. This is perhaps because I'm bothered by Wilson's political stance and willingness to overlook established facts (or to get them wrong) in the greater service of his allegiance to a constitutional monarchy as the best form of government. The areas where this is most clear for me (because I am a specialist in these areas of history) is Wilson's acceptance of Younghusband's figures for the number of Tibetans massacred by ...more
After the Victorians is a wonderfully entertaining book. Wilson is an excellent writer and is able to bring to life the myriad figures and dramatic events of British history in the first part of the 21st century.

That being said the book does have it's flaws. It's fairly unforgivable that Wilson refers to President Harry Truman as lawyer, when in fact he was the only 20th century President NOT to earn a college degree. Missing this detail could be seen as a minor mistake, but it belies the genera
Michael Heath-Caldwell
Very good comprehensive book on Britain and the Empire from 1900 to 1952. Above title says 'Decline of Britain in the World' which I did not see on the book? Empire had to make a run for it before the Loony Left could get their hands on it. Rather a warts and all type history which is quite interesting.
Oct 06, 2011 Leigh rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2006
An extremely interesting book - history as anecdote, told personally and with opinions. I know enough about British history to know when I was reading opinion, which was gratifying. Wilson's first rate mind and wide range of knowledge is apparent, but not over-bearing. Reading his take on English history in the 20th century was very much like listening to a professor emeritus hold forth over a long, boozy dinner. I found his views on the atrocities committed by the Allies during WW2 interesting. ...more
Apr 18, 2012 Sarah rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
Extremely biased, but an interesting and informative read. Few books on English history during this period would include a chapter on the birth of the Times crossword puzzle. An example of his bias: I found his accusations of homosexuality distasteful. I understand many in that period did cover up their sexual preference, but to accuse someone of being gay with no evidence and then go on to decribe the long, happy, faithful and consumate marriage he had with his wife is extremely strange. It get ...more
Joyce Halim
Really enjoyed his prose and unbiased opinions and the scope of the book: it is a jumble of interesting anecdotes and encompasses political, economical, social and literary history. A great read.
Most enjoyable. Well written, clear, concise, rich prose explaining a wonderful era populated by larger than life people.
Perhaps this book should be titled "The Last of the Victorians" since it ends with Winston Churchill. Describing the downfall of the British Empire through the two World Wars and the Great Depression this book shows how history and culture in the fading empire interacted. Much was muddled and America has inherited many of the fudges of diplomacy and border making that troubles today's world. However, most of the time the leaders were trying to do the right thing even if it ran against England's ...more
AN Wilson makes me feel I didn't waste my adolescence reading the complete Henry James, Thomas Hardy and DH Lawrence, as here I was able to nod sagely and chortle wisely I DO know what you mean. After the Victorians made me feel my A levels worthwhile, with accessible writing and Social and literary history given as much time as political history.
Anne Marie
Really interesting social history, some dodgy remarks on Ireland, (Partition did not come as a result of the Civil War it was demanded by the British during the Treaty negotiations!!), and at times a bit smug but very readable history.
Pleasing to read, despite an irritating handful of instances where Wilson reads history by means of the contemporary situation. A nice, accessible introduction to Britain from 1900 to the early 1950s.
I gave up reading this. Very witty writing, but after the apologia for Oswald Mosley and Edward VIII I had little faith in the author's POV being sufficeint separable from the historical narrative.
Dear A.N. Wilson,

I don't agree with even half of what you say, but I am nuts about the way you write history and biography. I am sort of in love with you. Thank you.

Gareth Evans
Not anywhere as good as his stunning Victorians and rather put in the shade by the more detailed histories of the period. Nevertheless always entertaining.
Very entertaining, apart from the times he takes a rather cavalier attitude to the facts and lets his own personal bias hold sway.
This book is so full of opinions that I doubted much of the author's analysis. Still, I found it informative and interesting.
A fascinating, opinionated history of Britain from 1900 to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Jul 03, 2009 Tammy marked it as to-read
941.0843 Wil
Really interesting.
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Andrew Norman Wilson is an English writer and newspaper columnist, known for his critical biographies, novels, works of popular history and religious views. He is an occasional columnist for the Daily Mail and former columnist for the London Evening Standard, and has been an occasional contributor to the Times Literary Supplement, New Statesman, The Spectator and The Observer.
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