The World in Time

David Cannadine

Friday, April 20, 2018

“Cremorne Gardens, No. 2,” by James McNeill Whistler, c. 1870. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1912.

Cremorne Gardens, No. 2, by James McNeill Whistler, c. 1875. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1912.

“Beyond any doubt the decades from the 1800s to the 1900s witnessed many extraordinary and traumatic challenges and wrenching and disorienting changes,” historian David Cannadine writes in the epilogue of Victorious Century, “as expressed and mediated through (among other things) the poetry of Wordsworth and Tennyson, the paintings of Turner and Landseer, the novels of Dickens and Eliot, and even Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic operas and Oscar Wilde’s brilliantly brittle plays.”

 

But “how far did the men (and apart from Queen Victoria, they were all men) who were ostensibly in charge of the affairs of the United Kingdom and the British Empire understand what was going on and know what they were doing?” The book chronicles many of these events hurtling by those supposedly orchestrating or managing them, starting in 1800 with Ireland being subsumed into the larger kingdom of Great Britain and ending with the general election in 1906, when the Liberal Party squashed the Conservatives for the last time. In this episode of The World in Time, Cannadine explains why he chose those dates as bookends and why the words of Karl Marx and the oft-quoted beginning of A Tale of Two Cities precede his book.

 

Lewis H. Lapham talks with David Cannadine, author of Victorious Century: The United Kingdom, 1800-1906.

 

Thanks to our generous donors. Lead support for this podcast has been provided by Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince. Additional support was provided by James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.

Discussed in this episode

More Podcasts

July 01, 2011

The World in Time:

Working on the Railroad

Lewis Lapham talks with historian Richard White about the failures of the companies behind a major alteration of the American West. More

August 11, 2011

The World in Time:

Vicars of Christ

Lewis Lapham talks with historian John Julius Norwich about one of the most successful institutions the world has ever known. More

June 15, 2018

The World in Time:

Steve Fraser

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Steve Fraser, author of Class Matters: The Strange Career of an American Delusion. More

June 09, 2017

The World in Time:

Ed Yong

Discovering communities of microbes that exist within us. More

Ocean Swells, by Arthur B. Davies. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of A. W. Bahr, 1958.

December 22, 2017

The World in Time:

Maya Jasanoff

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Maya Jasanoff, author of The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World. More

The 7th New York Militia Regiment marches down Broadway, an illustration from Harper’s Weekly, 1861.

August 18, 2017

The World in Time:

John Strausbaugh

Lewis H. Lapham talks with John Strausbaugh, author of City of Sedition: The History of New York City During the Civil War. More