From the Great Exhibition to the Credit Crunch -- the transformation of Britain from the world's greatest nation to the present day. In 1851 Queen Victoria opened the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, it was the high water mark of English achievement -- the nation at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, at the heart of a burgeoning Empire, with a queen who would reign for another 50 years. In the following 150 years, the fate of the nation has faced turmoil and transformation. But it is too simple to talk of decline? Has Great Britain sacrificed its identity in order to stay part of the present world order. Leading historian, Jeremy Black, completes the landmark four volume Brief History of Britain series with a brilliant, insightful examination of how present day Britain was formed.