Modernity and the Victorians diagnoses a disorder in the scholarship on Victorian Britain, and proposes an interpretative remedy. It argues that the 'modernization theory' beloved of twentieth-century social scientists cannot be made to fit the facts of nineteenth-century British history. In its place, the book lays out in sweeping terms an alternative conception of the political and social dynamics of the period, centred on the past, morality, and community. Intended in part as a companion volume to Angus Hawkins' previous synthetic study Victorian Political Culture: "Habits of Heart and Mind" (2015), the book offers a deliberately bracing challenge to a swathe of received wisdoms which, it asserts, have misled students of modern Britain. Modernity and the Victorians is at once a piece of twentieth-century intellectual history, a contribution to the history of scholarship, a commentary on more recent historiography, and an attempt to intervene in current debates about the practice and future of political history. It is a mature and humane essay by a historian who devoted the whole of his career to making sense of the Victorians. A preface by Alex Middleton sets the book in context with Hawkins' earlier scholarship, and reflects on his wider contribution to the historiography of modern Britain. The volume will be of interest not only to students of nineteenth-century Britain, but also to intellectual historians, historiographers, historically-minded social scientists, and anyone interested in how present preoccupations can distort readings of the past.