David Cannadine is the Dodge Professor of History at Princeton.


The Once and Future Princess

Most of the discussion of the recent televised interview given by the Princess of Wales, and of the royal separation to which it deliberately drew renewed attention, has been, as one might expect, superficial and partisan: for or against Diana, for or against Charles, for or against divorce, for or …

Cutting Classes

Class Formation and Urban-Industrial Society: Bradford, 1750–1850

by Theodore Koditschek

Class, Sect and Party: The Making of the British Middle Class, Leeds 1820–1850

by R.J. Morris
When John Major unexpectedly became Britain’s prime minister in November 1990, he announced that his chief political ambition was to make the country a “classless society,” a commitment which he repeated even more vigorously after the recent general election. That Mr. Major seemed to be turning his back on such …

Through the Keyhole

A History of Private Life Vol. IV: From the Fires of Revolution to the Great War

edited by Michelle Perrot, translated by Arthur Goldhammer
“I think very few people are completely normal really, deep down in their private lives.” These frivolous, dispiriting words, spoken by Amanda to her new husband, Victor, early in Noel Coward’s Private Lives might also serve as the damning epigraph for the book under review. It is the latest installment …

Three Who Made a Revolution

Gilbert and Sullivan were self-made products of the Victorian era who, for all their lightheartedness, might have stepped straight from the pious pages of Samuel Smiles’s Self-Help. They were both born in unpromising circumstances, but their ascent to the high peaks of fame and fortune was even more successful than …

Never-Never Land

Victorian Things

by Asa Briggs

The Rise of Respectable Society: A Social History of Victorian Britain, 1830–1900

by F.M.L. Thompson
To an exceptional degree, Britain’s twentieth-century history is still haunted by its nineteenth-century past. The physical products of the Victorian world are everywhere in evidence, not just as cosy period pieces, like Liberty fabrics or Doulton vases or William Morris wallpapers, but as a functioning part of contemporary civilization. Take …

Winston Agonistes

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill Volume II, Alone, 1932–1940

by William Manchester

Churchill's War: Volume I, The Struggle for Power

by David Irving
When Sir Winston Churchill died at the age of ninety in January 1965, he was accorded the most magnificent state funeral that a grateful and grieving Britain could give him. In life he had received, or refused, every available honor, and his death occasioned a final display of national thanksgiving …