Your Cart is Empty


Heyday: The 1850s & the Dawn of the Global Age

'Excellent . . . This is narrative history of the highest quality' Andrew Lycett, Sunday Telegraph 'Wonderfully engrossing and intelligent . . . clever and entertaining' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times HEYDAY brings to life one of the most extraordinary periods in modern history. The 1850s was a decade of breathtaking transformation, with striking parallels for our own times. The world was reshaped by technology, trade, mass migration and war. The global economy expanded fivefold, millions of families emigrated to the ends of the earth to carve out new lives, technology revolutionised communications, while steamships and railways cut across vast continents and oceans, shrinking the world and creating the first global age. In a fast-paced, kaleidoscopic narrative, the acclaimed historian Ben Wilson recreates this time of explosive energy and dizzying change, a rollercoaster ride of booms and bust, focusing on the lives of the men and women reshaping its frontiers. At the centre stands Great Britain. The country was the peak of its power as it attempted to determine the destinies of hundreds of millions of people. A dazzling history of a tumultuous decade, HEYDAY reclaims an often overlooked period that was fundamental not only in in the making of Britain but of the modern world. Review 'Wilson's account of the 1850s is a wonderfully engrossing and intelligent read . . . He has clever and entertaining things to say about even the most banal topics, tracing the Victorian enthusiasm for beards, for instance, to the impact of the Crimean War . . . He even manages to make the history of Minnesota exciting' -- Dominic Sandbrook, THE SUNDAY TIMES 'With a rip-roaring style to match his subject . . . excellent . . . His grasp of the interplay between politics, economics and individuals is admirable. This is narrative history of the highest quality' -- Andrew Lycett, DAILY TELEGRAPH 'Engrossing study of the explosion of the new technology that reshaped the world in the 1850s, and Britain's role in it', THE SUNDAY TIMES 'Must Reads' 'In this rollercoaster of a book, Ben Wilson describes the 1850s as the most explosive period in history, a decade that gave birth to modernity and trampled those who resisted it . . . So much of current transnational history is, quite frankly, perishingly dull, with arcane analysis smothering the wonderful stories the past provides. Heyday stands in refreshing contrast: the scholarship is certainly impressive but the drama is what delights. Wilson's knack for detail brings this history alive . . . Heyday is a lot like its subject; it's a big-bearded book of enormous scope and unstoppable momentum. However, it's also a sobering tale of greed gone wrong' -- Gerard De Groot, THE TIMES 'This is a scholarly, intelligent and readable book. This book is an original prism through which to view the mid-19th century and, essentially, about the invention not so much of modernity as of globalisation' -- Simon Heffer, THE SPECTATOR 'I finished Ben Wilson's immensely enjoyable new book, Heyday: Britain & the Birth of the Modern World. Highly recommended' -- Tom Holland 'Ben Wilson argues that the 1850s should be seen as a distinct period within the Victorian era because its developments shaped the world for decades. Key among these are the 1851 Great Exhibition; the "gold rushes", migration to area with newly discovered deposits of gold; and the first underwater transmission of a telegraph message, from London to Paris in 1851 - which, in theory, meant that the whole world could be linked in such a away. The Crimean War (1853-56), meanwhile pitted Russia against the UK, France, Sardinia and the Ottoman empire in a conflict that altered global alliances', BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE 'A fascinating and sweeping account of one of the most eventful decades in world history, a period when the nation was fast-tracked into the modern age . . . compellingly written and intricately researched . . . Wilson
Product Overview
ISBN 9780753829219
Publisher smeikalbooks
Weight 0.0 lb