The Victorian Age 1832-1900 Introductory Notes British Literature Quotes from the Times Youth is a blunder; manhood a struggle; old age a regret Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby Tis better to have loved and lost/ Than never to have loved at all Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In
Memoriam, A.H.H. A mans reach should exceed his grasp,/ Or whats a heaven for? Robert Browning, Andrea del Santo Tennyson Browning General Info About the Time Enormous changes occurred in political and social life in England and the rest of the world
The scientific and technical innovations of the Industrial Revolution, the emergence of modern nationalism, and the European colonization of much of Africa, the Middle East, and the Far East changed most of Europe Far-reaching new ideas created the greatest outpouring of literary production the world has ever seen General Info About the Time London becomes most important city in Europe
Population of London expands from two million to six million Shift from ownership of land to modern urban economy Victorian people suffered from anxiety, a sense of being displaced persons in an age of technological advances. Queen Victoria (1819-1901) Reign: 1837-1901 She had the longest reign in British history Became queen at the age of 18; she was graceful and self-assured. She also had a gift for drawing and
painting Throughout her reign, she maintained a sense of dignity and decorum that restored the average persons high opinion of the monarchy after a series of horrible, ineffective leaders 1840-Victoria married a German prince, Albert, who became not king, but Prince-consort After he died in 1861, she sank into a deep depression and wore black every day for the rest of her life The Early Victorian Period 1830-1848
In 1830, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway opened, the first public railway line in the world. By 1850, railway lines connected Englands major cities By 1900 , England had 15,195 lines of railroad and an underground rail system beneath London. The train transformed Englands landscape, supported the growth of commerce, and shrank the
distance between cities. The Growth of the British Empire England grew to become the greatest nation on earth Empire included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, Kenya, and India England built a very large navy and merchant fleet (for trade and colonization) The Growth of the British Empire (continued) Imported raw materials such as cotton and silk
and exported finished goods to countries around the world By the mid-1800s, England was the largest exporter and importer of goods in the world. It was the primary manufacturer of goods and the wealthiest country in the world Because of Englands success, they felt it was their duty to bring English values, laws, customs, and religion to the savage races around the world The British Empire Many Between 1853 and 1880, large scale immigration to British
colonies In 1857, Parliament took over the government of India and Queen Victoria became empress of India. Many British people saw the expansion of empire as a moral responsibility. Missionaries spread Christianity in India, Asia, and Africa. The Time of Troubles 1830s and 1840s
Unemployment Poverty Rioting Slums in large cities Working conditions for women and children were terrible The Industrial Revolution
Factory systems emerged The shift in the English economy moved away from agriculture and toward the production of manufactured goods Great Exhibition of 1851-Prince Alberthoused in the Crystal Palace (made of glass and iron) exhibited hydraulic presses, locomotives, machine tools, power looms, power reapers, and steamboat engines (see page 943) The Crystal Palace Erected to display the exhibits of modern industry and science at the 1851 Great Exhibition
One of the first buildings constructed according to modern architectural principles The building symbolized the triumphs of Victorian industry Social and Political Reform 1832-First Reform Act-extended the vote to most middle-class men 1833-Britain abolished slavery/Factory Act-regulated child labor in factories 1834-Poor Law-Amendment applied a system of workhouses for poor people
1871-Trade Union Act-made it legal for laborers to organize to protect their rights Religious Movement in Victorian England Evangelical Movement: emphasized a Protestant faith in personal salvation through Christ. This movement swept through England. Led to the creation of the Salvation Army and YMCA. Oxford Movement (Tractarians): sought to bring the official English Anglican Church closer in rituals and beliefs to Roman Catholicism
Other Thoughts John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)philosopher who created two ideas Utilitarianism: the object of moral action was to bring about the greatest good for the greatest amount of people Liberalism: governments had the right to restrict the actions of individuals only when those actions harmed others, and that society should use its collective resources to provide for the basic welfare of others. Also encouraged equal rights for women Other Thoughts..
Charles Lyell (1797-1875): Showed that geological features on Earth had developed continuously and slowly over immense periods of time Charles Darwin (1809-1882): Introduced the survival of the fittest theory Lyell Darwin Other Thoughts
Herbert Spencer (1820-1903): Applied Darwinism to human society: as in nature, survival properly belongs to the fittest, those most able to survive. Social Darwinism was used by many Victorians to justify social inequalities based on race, social or economic class, or gender Adam Smith- 18th century economist, held that the best government economic policy was to leave the market aloneto follow a laissez faire or let it be policy of little or no govt intervention The Role of Women
The Woman Question Changing conditions of womens work created by the Industrial Revolution The Factory Acts (1802-78) regulations of the conditions of labor in mines and factories The Custody Act (1839) gave a
mother the right to petition the court for access to her minor children and custody of children under seven and later sixteen. The Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act established a civil divorce court Married Womens Property Acts Educational Opportunities for Women First womens college established in 1848 in London. By the end of
Victorias reign, women could take degrees at twelve university colleges. Working Conditions for Women Bad working conditions and underemployment drove thousands of women into prostitution. The only occupation at which an unmarried middle-class woman
could earn a living and maintain some claim to gentility was that of a governess. Victorian Women and the Home Victorian society was preoccupied with the very nature of women. Protected and enshrined within the home, her role was to create a place of peace where man could take refuge from the difficulties of modern life.
Literacy, Publication, and Reading By the end of the century, literacy was almost universal. Compulsory national education required to the age of ten. Due to technological advances, an explosion of things to read, including newspapers, periodicals, and books. Growth of the periodical Novels and short fiction were published iin serial form. The reading public expected
literature to illuminate social problems. The Victorian Novel The novel was the dominant form in Victorian literature.
Victorian novels seek to represent a large and comprehensive social world, with a variety of classes. Victorian novels are realistic. Major theme is the place of the individual in society, the aspiration of the hero or heroine for love or social position. The protagonists search for fulfillment is emblematic of the human condition. For the first time, women were major writers: the Brontes. Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot. The Victorian novel was a
principal form of entertainment. Images of the Victorian Period Victorian Literature Four types of writing were popular during the Victorian Era: Realist
Naturalist The Novel Poetry Realism The attempt to produce in art and literature an accurate portrayal of reality Realistic, detailed descriptions of everyday life, and of its darker aspects, appealed to many readers disillusioned by the progress going on around them. Themes in Realist writing included families, religion, and social reform Naturalism
Based on the philosophical theory that actions and events are the results not of human intentions, but of largely uncontrollable external forces Authors chose subjects and themes common to the lower and middle classes Attentive to details, striving for accuracy and authenticity in their descriptions
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