• Heffer has written a stunning overview of the great and the good – and the not-so-good – of Victorian society and of the changes which a largely benevolent capitalism brought about.

    Sarah Bradford, The Literary Review
  • High Minds is worthy to the task: serious, scholarly, grand and excellent guide to the aesthetics of the age.

    Tristram Hunt, New Statesman
  • [I]t is really a whole bookshelf of books. If you want a succinct volume on the Clarendon Commission and the debates on education, there is a not-so-slim volume embedded here. There is another on the desperate case of the formidable Caroline Norton and the battle to give women rights...another on the great philanthropists; another on crime and punishment; another (wonderfully detailed and compelling) on the Great Exhibition and the foundation of Albertopolis; another on the sewers; a terrific essay on the struggle between Gothic and Italianate architecture; and of course plenty of politics...This is a great sweeping, confident book, demonstrating the self-same energy and passion as do the Victorian heroes Heffer celebrates. It is a magnificent achievement.

    William Waldegrave, The Times
  • [A] stimulating and thoroughly enjoyable book...[Heffer] is sometimes tendentious but never unreasonable, writes notably well and provides an admirable introduction to a period of history which many of us will think that we know quite well but have never considered from this point of view before.

    Philip Ziegler, The Spectator
  • High Minds is partly social history, partly a history of ideas. It is the personalities involved that contribute such liveliness to this assured and magisterial narrative.

    Matthew Dennison, The Sunday Telegraph

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