• It is cultural history of a sweeping order... which can be savoured for its profusion of exhibits as well as for its ambitious thesis... A teeming book full of learning and humanity.

    C. J. Fox, Independent
  • Makes tremendous sense... The wholly coherent effect of Hynes's study is all the more notable for the disintegrated nature of his material... A greatly rewarding study of how culture was dumbfounded.

    Mick Imlah, The Times Literary Supplement

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