How Literature Was Affected In The Victorian Age



The Year 1837 was very significant. It was not only the year that
Queen Victoria acceded the throne, but also the year that a new literary
age was coined. The Victorian Age, more formally known, was a time of
great prosperity in Great Britain's literature(Keach 608). The Victorian
Age produced a variety of changes. Political and social reform produced a
variety of reading among all classes(Stuart 5). The lower-class became
more self-conscious, the middle class more powerful and the rich became
more vulnerable(6). The novels of Charles Dickens, the poems of Alfred,
Lord Tennyson and Robert Browning, the dramatic plays of Oscar Wilde, the
scientific discoveries of the Darwins, and ...

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among all of her people. She gave
out free books to children and she built schools for the lower classes.
Also the Queen invited prominent Victorian age writers such as Alfred,
Lord Tennyson and Charles Dickens to read privately to her in Buckingham
Palace(Packard 59).
The Victorian Age was also an era of several unsettling social
developments. This forced writers to take positions on immediate issues
animating the rest of society(Brown 23). Hence, romantic forms of
expression in poetry and prose continued to dominate English literature
throughout much of the century. The attention of many writers was directed
to the growth of the English democracy, education, materiallism, religion,
science and the theory of evolution. In "Opposition of Matter" Thomas
Caryle spoke out against materialism. Historian Thomas Babington Macaulay
wrote History of England and Critical Historical Essays. Maculay
expressed the complacency of the English middle class over the new
prosperity and ...

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life.
The literature of the first four decades of the Victorian period
could not help but reflect the social and intellectual controversies of the
era(Richardson 9). Writers including Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin
attacked the problems directly, while Charles Dickens, George Eloit and
Alfred Lord Tennyson dramatized the conflicts and challenges in their works.
The most popular form for this type of dramatization was the novel.
Victorian novels represented almost every aspect of nineteenth century
Victorian life(Keach 629). Though poetry and prose were certainly
distinguished, it was the novel that ultimately proved to be the Victorians
special literary achievement(Keach ...

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Added: 4/24/2005 09:38:34 PM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1634
Pages: 6

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