The Victorian Age
The Victorian Age starts from the 1837,
From the social point of view, there's a
process of democratisation: Reform Bill after Reform Bill (most important in
1848 858g65i and in 1867),
Disraeli: (conservative) proposes a lot of democratic reforms;
Peele: judiciary system reform;
Gladstone: he had to face an increasing social discontent of the Industrial Working Class (led to the Christian Socialistic Movement) and the problem of women (1921: right to vote) and of the Trade Unions (organisations of workers).
The Victorian Age may roughly be divided into three periods:
Sense of triumph:
at home: the 1851 is apex of
Victorian triumphalism: the Great Exhibition is held in
[1851-1880's] The sense of triumphalism decrease and disappointment makes his introduction:
philosophically: people discovered that science is not the answer to all question on human existence.
practically: there are home and foreign problems:
Trade Unions: people ask for less exploitation.
Discontent of the mob: the working class demonstrated spontaneously and in a violent way; the middle class thinks that the mob would eventually destroy the English traditions.
The Empire breaks up: the defeat of Gallipoli in
the Crimean War (English army is slaughtered); discontent in
[1880's-1901] The sense of disappointment reaches his highest point but it expresses
itself in a weak way, without great rebellions (in
The Aesthetic Movement: was born in
Comfort in the countryside: they find comfort in the countryside, so they moved to there; the poetry is melancholic. A. E. Housman wrote a melancholic poem.
All Victorian artists share a terror of the working class because they believe that the mob will eventually subvert the social order and the English establishment. They react in tree possible ways:
sentimentalism: Dickens is the great exponent; he was conscious of the social problems: when he was a child, his father went bankrupt and he had to work in a factory for children, so he knew of the exploitation. He thinks that if everybody makes an effort, all the problems could be solved.
set their novels in a pre-industrial world, in a pre-Romantic Age; Brontë
sisters (Charlotte, Emily and Ann) because of their life (they lived in Hawrth,
a solitary place and they died very young, so they didn't know the other
explicit opposition - antagonism: in "Culture and Anarchy", Mathew Arnold said: "we are going to eliminate physically the working class problem, before they do something terrible".
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