A. N. Wilson is one of Britain’s most impressive, important, and versatile writers, the author of nineteen novels (including the superb five volumes of The Lampitt Chronicles), as well as fourteen works of non-fiction, among them biographies of Tolstoy, Milton, C. S. Lewis, Iris Murdoch, and St. Paul. He also writes penetrating and highly opinionated columns in the London Evening Standard and the Daily Telegraph, usually on intellectual themes. He is a man who must be taken seriously.

Like most highly intelligent people, Wilson doesn’t stand on ceremony; he enjoys teasing, and he never thrusts his brilliance or scholarship down his readers’ throats. His history of Britain’s decline between the death of Queen Victoria and the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II is therefore compulsively readable. Americans who take pleasure in the fact of Britain’s collapse in power in...

 

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