The British get the war they want with the Boer republics in South Africa, but the Boers turn out to be more than the British can handle. At first.
Britain is still very much a class-bound society at home and a military power abroad. A look at the state of the Empire in the late 19th century, with a special emphasis on Ireland and South Africa.
What are cathode rays? X-rays? Radioactivity? How old is the Earth? Inquiring minds want to know. Also, in an age when only men can vote, the greatest scientist of the time is a woman. And Polish. Take that, haters!
France at the turn of the century was rocked by the Dreyfus Affair, where an innocent soldier was convicted of treason, and the Army went to incredible lengths in its refusal to acknowledge what became increasingly obvious.