The Visitors: Culture Shock in Nineteenth-century Britain by Rupert Christiansen

The Visitors: Culture Shock in Nineteenth-century Britain by Rupert Christiansen lands on the shelves of my shop, where it will be found in my Social History section.

London: Chatto & Windus, 2000, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Contains: Black & white photographs;

From the cover: The great French painter Gericault recording the climax of a public execution and the finish of the Derby. Richard Wagner guffawing at anti-Semitic jokes in the restaurant of the Victoria & Albert Museum. Ralph Waldo Emerson driving Thomas Carlyle to distraction with his moonshine philosophy. The inexplicable powers of the American medium Daniel Home and his disastrous involvement with an elderly Cockney widow. The demon Australian bowler Frederick Spofforth who changed the course of English cricket. The pirouetting Italian ballerinas who captivated the young Bernard Shaw and roused music-hall audiences to a collective erotic frenzy

In vividly readable and often hilarious detail, The Visitors relates the tragi-comic stories of a succession of remarkable foreigners who travelled to Britain in the nineteenth century and left influential marks on all aspects of its culture.

Using a vast range of sources and voices, Rupert Christiansen has produced an original and entertaining work of popular history, which illuminates the Victorian character from unexpected angles, and emphasises the extraordinary richness and diversity of a society sometimes mistakenly perceived as insular, bigoted and inward-looking.

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper.

Burgundy boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 272 pages. Index. Bibliography. 9½” x 6¼”.

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