Arthur and George grow up worlds and miles apart in late 19th century Britain: Arthur in shabby-genteel Catholic Edinburgh, George in the vicarage of a small Staffordshire village. Arthur is to become one of the most famous men of his age, George a Birmingham solicitor, is happy in hardworking obscurity. But as the new century begins, they are brought together by a sequence of events that made sensational headlines at the time as The Great Wyrley Outrages. With a mixture of intense research and vivid imagination, Julian Barnes brings into sharp focus not just this long-forgotten case but the inner workings of the two men and the wider psychology of the age. Arthur & George is a novel in which the events of a hundred years ago constantly set off contemporary echoes. It is a novel about low crime and high spirituality; guilt and innocence; identity, nationality and race; and thwarted passion. Arthur & George explores what we think, what we believe, and what we know.