In These Times: Living in Britain Through the French Wars, 1793–1815

Jenny Uglow. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $40 (752p) ISBN 978-0-374-28090-1
In a book with many components and little center, British historian Uglow (The Pinecone) sketches what it was like to be in Great Britain in the years of the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars. Her theme, delivered with deft strokes, is how the wars affected “the lives of people in Britain, not those who fought, but those at home looking on, waiting, working, watching.” She’s as comprehensive as possible, covering gentry and working people, farmers and sailors, women and men, war prisoners and bankers. It’s a large canvas, always alive; its subjects—in snippet chapters—are skillfully portrayed. Uglow never intrudes on her large cast of characters, letting their own words and deeds bring them to life. But there is no analysis, point of view, or firm place to stand. It’s a vast portrait of a painful British era, both good history and a diverting story, but Uglow never brings it all together. Illus. Agent: Melanie Jackson Agency (U.K.). (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/08/2014
Release date: 01/20/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 752 pages - 978-1-4668-2822-3
Paperback - 740 pages - 978-0-571-26953-2
Open Ebook - 450 pages - 978-0-571-31262-7
Paperback - 752 pages - 978-0-374-53602-2
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