August meeting – The Victorians – A N Wilson

This book was very well received by those in attendance at the 1st August meeting.  Although comment had been left complaining about the lack of scientific content and the writer’s emphasis on art with very little space devoted to scientific and technological developments, it was suggested that this was a social history with the emphasis therefore being on the lives of the many and their experiences.  It was thought that there are plenty of books chronicling the discoveries and inventions of this fascinating age and the men who came up with these ideas.  Everyone found new and interesting information just by turning to chapters at random and absorbing snippets of information.  Those with family tree connections were especially drawn to matters pertaining to the lives of their ancestors, for example, the fact that the army consisted mainly of aristocratic officers “most of them buffoons” and working-class men “driven to the dire expedient of soldiering by poverty”.  The view was expressed that this was a book of reference that all would like to have on their book shelf.

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