The Victorian era was a time of dramatic change. During this period Britain ruled the largest empire on earth, witnessed the expansion of democracy, and developed universal education and mass print culture. Both its imperial might and the fact that it had industrialised and urbanised decades before any other nation allowed it to dominate world politics and culture in many ways for the better part of the nineteenth century. Understanding the Victorianspaints a vivid portrait of the era, combines broad survey with close analysis, and introduces students to the critical debates taking place among historians today. It emphasises class, gender, and racial and imperial positioning as constitutive of human relations, including the social, economic, cultural, political, and legal. Starting with the Queen Caroline Affair in 1820 and coming right up to the start of World War I in 1914, Steinbach thematic chapters take in, amongst other things, the economy, gender, religion, the history of science and ideas, material culture and sexuality. With a clear introduction outlining the key themes of the period, including the issue of periodization, and with chronologies and suggestions for further reading, this is the ideal companion for all students of the nineteenth century.Steinbach, Susie is the author of 'Understanding the Victorians: Politics, Culture and Society in Nineteenth Century Britain', published 2010 under ISBN 9780415774093 and ISBN 0415774098.