The Victorian Age

Classic Pamphlet

D. C. Somervell, last updated: 3rd June 2016

This Classic Pamphlet was published in 1937 (the centenary of the accession of Queen Victoria, who succeeded to the throne on June 20, 1837).

Synopsis of contents:

1. Is the Victorian Age a distinct 'period' of history?

Landmarks establishing its beginning: the Reform Bill, railways, other inventions, new leaders in literature and thought.

Marks the end of the period: ‘Black Week', foundation of the Labour Party, motors, the Harmsworth press, new prospects in art and music.

The dividing line between the Early and Later Victorian Ages: Franco-German war, loss of monopolies in industry and commerce, decline of birth rate, feminism, Bournemouth and Blackpool, organised games, death of Dickens, Ruskin and Whistler.

2. Evangelicalism;

Charges of hypocrisy and prudery; ugliness due to mechanisation. Causes sapping evangelicalism; the Oxford Movement; science; the ‘new hedonism.'

3. Utilitarianism,

Its dual character; Chadwick and public health; civil service and local government; a rejoinder to Mr Wingfield-Straford's indictment in The Victorian Tragedy. The place of Victorian England in world history.

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