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Shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize
As the Napoleonic wars raged, what was life really like for those left at home? Award-winning social historian Jenny Uglow reveals the colourful and turbulent everyday life of Georgian Britain through the diaries, letters and records of farmers, bankers, aristocrats and mill-workers. Here, lost voices of ordinary people are combined with those of figures we know, from Austen and Byron to Turner and Constable. In These Times movingly tells the story of how people really lived in one of the most momentous and exciting periods in history.
'(A) magnificent, richly illustrated book ... Jenny Uglow is a uniquely gifted historian. Her style is supremely elegant and often amusingly bathetic, her researches exhaustive but lightly worn ... No page is without its intriguing anecdote.
'A sumptuous treat . . . By showing us this world through the eyes of ordinary people, Uglow brings it to life.'
Detailed but not trivial, rich yet never heavy, the sharply-observed characters and constant pricks of humour make this book seem almost as if Jane Austen had written a history of her own times.
As crowded and bustling as a Gillray drawing ... at its impressive best, it has the dense feel of Turner's Battle of Trafalgar.
Jenny Uglow has cast her net wide and captured a crucial era in our island story and of European history, that is, despite its wrist-breaking bulk, pretty well unputdownable.
Few can match her skill at conjuring up a scene, or illuminating a character with a swift and glittering line of description. And so it is here ... In These Times brims with life.
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