In his account of four characters, each of whose importance was global, each of them, in their different ways, "monsters", Piers Brendon, who maintains that the Edwardian era has been obfuscated by huge biographies, illuminates the age. His cast is as follows: Lord Northcliffe, the creator of modern journalism; Arthur Balfour, at the centre of the British political stage for half a century, and inspirer of the Balfour Declaration which changed the face of the Middle East; Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the Suffragettes, whose personal gentility contrasted so oddly with her violent activities; and Baden-Powell, the Boy Scout who never really grew up, but who created a movement that spread to almost every country in the world.
Piers Brendon is the author of a dozen books, including biographies of Churchill and Eisenhower, and The Windsors, Hawker of Morwenstow and, most recently, The Dark Valley, a hugely acclaimed history of the 1930s, which are all available in Pimlico. He also writes for television and contributes regularly to the national press. He is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge.