The Victorian Period 1833-1901

The Victorian Period
By Dr. Carter
Queen Victoria
One of England’s powerful,
long-reigning queens
who support social
moral standards.
Married Albert of
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha,
had nine children
Age of Reform
Reform Bills - 1832, 1867, 1884-85
Slavery abolished - 1833
Repeal of Corn Laws - 1846
Other reforms:
public education
women’s education
established work week
for women & children
Age of Imperialism
Opium Wars (1839-42)
Crimean War (1853-56)
Indian Mutiny (1857-58)
Boer War (1899-1902)
Acquisitions: Afghanistan, Botswana, Burma,
Egypt, Gambia, Hong Kong, Kenya, Malawi,
Malaysia, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa,
Sudan, Uganda, and Zimbabwe
Age of Controversy
science v. sentimentalism
complacency v. reform
faith v. skepticism
birth of: evolution
Age of Literature
Romanticism (cont.)
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Poet Laureate in 1850,
after Wordsworth’s
Continues in the
Romantic tradition
Made a baron for his
literary achievement
Robert Browning
Largely self-educated
Married to
Elizabeth Barret Browning,
who was better known
Reinvented the
“dramatic monologue”
Interest in psychology,
esp. aberrant
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
father a slaver
classically educated
suffered from tuberculosis
proposed to Tennyson and Browning (whom
she had never met) in published poetry
opium addict
very popular poet & novelist
Charles Dickens
Born in poverty: debtor’s
prison and child labor
Journalist & student of
human nature
Social criticism and reform
Most successful novelist
of his day
Long novels published
in serial format
Matthew Arnold
Social reformer & public servant
Success as poet in midlife
Interest in the relationship
between the individual
and society
Social and cultural critic
Criticized the weaknesses of
Victorian “success”
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Upper middle-class
Anglican background
Strong religious feelings:
became a Jesuit
Verse celebrates
religious faith, but also
“contradicts” it
Verse form: “sprung” rhythm
A.E. Housman
Personal tragedies in youth
Public servant and scholar
Little known in his day
Poems have dark, emotional