The Fateful Year is the story of England in 1914. War with Germany, so often imagined and predicted, finally broke out when people were least prepared for it. Here, among a crowded cast of unforgettable characters, are suffragettes, armed with axes, and celebrity aviators thrilling spectators by looping the loop. With the coming of war, England is beset by spy hysteria and fears of invasion. Patriotic women hand out white feathers to men who have failed to rush to their country's defence. And as 1914 fades out, England prepares itself for the prospect of a war of long duration.