A study of a meltdown of a body politic which shows the turbulence of an alleged "belle époque" to have been the writing on the wall for a nation that had for too long thought of itself as all-powerful.
At the beginning of the twentieth century Britain's empire spanned the globe, her economy was strong and the political system seemed to be immune from the ills that afflicted so many other countries. After a resounding electoral triumph in 1906 the Liberals again formed the government of the most powerful nation on earth, yet within a few years the army had mutinied, industrial unrest was rife and civil war loomed in Ireland.
The Strange Death of Liberal England
is the classic study of this rapid collapse of a self-confident body politic. Three factors combined to bring Liberal England to its knees: the Home Rule crisis brought Ireland to the brink of civil war, while the campaign for women's suffrage created widespread civil disorder, and an unprecedented strike wave swept the land.
The years before the First World War are often presented as a golden age, but this stylish and witty history shows the turbulence of an alleged
to have been the writing on the wall for a nation that had for too long thought of itself as all-powerful.