The victorian period

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THE VICTORIAN PERIOD
1830 - 1901
TIMELINE
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1832 First reform Bill
1837 Victoria becomes Queen
1846 Corn Laws Repealed
1850 Tennyson replaces Wordsworth as Poet Laureate
1851 Great Exhibition in London
1859 Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species
1870-71 Franco-Prussian War
1901 Death of Victoria
BRITISH HISTORY
• “British history is two thousand years old, and yet in
a good many ways the world has moved further
ahead since the Queen was born than it moved all
the rest of the two thousand years put together”
(Mark Twain 1897).
• London becomes the largest European city
• England first industrialized
• Colonial Power
“Sun never sets on the
British Empire”
QUEEN VICTORIA AND THE VICTORIAN
TEMPER
• Victorian – earnestness, moral responsibility,
domestic propriety
• By the 1850s and 1860s writers were calling the
period Victorian
• Georgian reaction against the period
• Overwhelming energy and practical outlook
THE EARLY PERIOD 1830-1848
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1830 Liverpool and Manchester railroad
1832 Reform bill and breaking up of rotten boroughs
1867 Lower class vote
1830s and 40s know as “Time of troubles”
Working conditions
Child labor
Chartism
Corn laws repealed 1846
THE MID-VICTORIAN PERIOD 1848-70
• More prosperous time
• Queen Victoria and Prince Albert seen as models of
middle class domesticity
• Benefits of free trade
• Factory Acts
• 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park (Crystal Palace)
• Exports doubled between 1850 and 1870
• Emigration and Empire
• Utilitarianism and Bentham
• Challenges to the Church
• Advancements in Science
LATE VICTORIAN PERIOD 1870-1901
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Apex of British Empire
London’s greatness
Increasing cost of Empire
The Irish Question
US competition
Economic depression and emigration in 1870’s
Second reform bill
Reactions against Victorian ideals
THE ROLE OF WOMEN
• First petitions for Woman’s suffrage in 1840s, yet no
vote until 1918
• Married Woman’s Property Acts 1870-1908
• Divorce laws different for men and women
• Middle class debate about middle class women
• The Custody Acts of 1839
• The Divorce and Matrimonial act of 1857
• Improving women’s education
• Increased employment opportunities
• Single woman and governesses
LITERACY, PUBLICATION, AND
READING
• Basic literacy nearly universal by 1900
• Repeal of stamp act and improved printing made
periodicals much cheaper
• Periodicals would serialize longer works – Dickens,
Thackeray, Eliot, Trollope, and Gaskell
(fiction);Carlyle, Mill, Arnold, Ruskin (essays);
Tennyson and the Brownings (poetry)
• Broad readership and common literary culture
THE NOVEL AND POETRY
• The novel was the dominant form of Victorian Literature
• Multi-plot novels: “large, loose, baggy, monsters” (Henry
James)
• Realism
• Social relationships and middle class society
• Woman writers – Gaskell, Eliot, Austen, the Brontes
• Genres – crime, mystery, horror, science fiction, detective
stories
• Poetry builds on romantics, but without same creative
enthusiasm
• Narrative poetry and the dramatic monologue
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