A Heroes' History of the Victorians
From tennis to tube trains, cricket to petrol cars and football to flying, the Victorians (1837-1901) were always head and shoulders above the competition. They were first off the mark during the Industrial Revolution with sprawling factories for steel and massive mills for cotton, all cheered along by Bessemer’s steel converter and Brunel’s bridges. They then speeded ahead with the British Empire, bicycles and board games like Ludo and remained in the lead with big books by Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and Charles Barry’s Gothic Revival Houses of Parliament. With schools and seaside piers, post offices and police forces, telephones and torpedoes, Christmas trees and crinolines, cameras and calculators, they finally sprinted across the finish line in first place – and went off on a first-class package holiday for a rest.