We live in the world which the Victorians created. The 'global village' is a Victorian village. Their two great inventions go hand in hand: industrial capitalism, and imperialism. Historians in the past have tended to describe these two great facts in ideological, rather than in personal terms. A. N. Wilson illuminates them through the people who built them. In a panoramic survey of the Victorian Age he describes the men and women who brought the modern age into being. The capitalist world came into being because of actual businessmen, actual journalists, actual politicians. We meet them in the pages of this book. It was challenged by the ideas of such men as Karl Marx, William Morris and George Bernard Shaw - here they are. Here are the lofty and famous - Prince Albert, Lord Palmerston, Charles Dickens, Gladstone and Disraeli - and here too are the poor and the obscure - doctors ministering to cholera victims in the big cities, young women working as models for the famous painters, the man who got the British hooked on cigarettes, the butchers and victims of conflict in Ireland, India and Africa. A. N. Wilson's book is a mosaic, in which hundreds of different lives have been pieced together to tell a story - one which is still unfinished in our own day.