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The fourth instalment in Peter Ackroyd's History of England series.

Table of Contents

    • Section - i: List of illustrations
  • Chapter - 1: What do you think of predestination now?
  • Chapter - 2: A bull or a bear?
  • Chapter - 3: The idol of the age
  • Chapter - 4: Hay day
  • Chapter - 5: The prose of gold
  • Chapter - 6: Waiting for the day
  • Chapter - 7: The great Scriblerus
  • Chapter - 8: The Germans are coming!
  • Chapter - 9: Bubbles in the air
  • Chapter - 10: The invisible hand
  • Chapter - 11: Consuming passions
  • Chapter - 12: The What D'Ye Call It?
  • Chapter - 13: The dead ear
  • Chapter - 14: Mother Geneva
  • Chapter - 15: The pack of cards
  • Chapter - 16: What shall I do?
  • Chapter - 17: Do or die
  • Chapter - 18: The violists
  • Chapter - 19: A call for liberty
  • Chapter - 20: Here we are again!
  • Chapter - 21: The broad bottom
  • Chapter - 22: The magical machines
  • Chapter - 23: Having a tea party
  • Chapter - 24: The schoolboy
  • Chapter - 25: The steam machines
  • Chapter - 26: On a darkling plain
  • Chapter - 27: Fire and moonlight
  • Chapter - 28: The red bonnet
  • Chapter - 29: The mad kings
  • Chapter - 30: The beast and the whore
  • Chapter - 31: A Romantic tale
  • Chapter - 32: Pleasures of peace
    • Section - ii: Further reading
    • Index - iii: Index

About the Author

Peter Ackroyd is an award-winning novelist, as well as a broadcaster, biographer, poet and historian. He is the author of the acclaimed non-fiction bestsellers, Thames: Sacred River and London: The Biography. He holds a CBE for services to literature and lives in London.


Ackroyd is a fascinating mix of a 19th-century narrative historian and modern social analyst. Elements of thisbook seem very old-fashioned and formal - in a good way. Yet the author eschews the detached third person preferred by stuffy professionals, favouring instead a more intimate "you" that brings the reader into the dark alleys of industrial towns to sniff the urine, vomit and suppurating sores of industrial England. Those perfect
sentences are scattered throughout.

-- Gerard DeGroot * The Times *

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