"We had always been convinced that Victorianism was a myth, engendered by the long life of the sovereign and of her most illustrious subjects. We were constantly being told that the Victorians did this, or the Victorians thought that, while my own difficulty was to find anything on which they agreed: any assumption which was not at some time or other fiercely challenged. 'Victorian History'.

But the old men lived and the young men died. A strange ...

But the old men lived and the young men died. A strange pause followed their departure, and the great Victorian lights rose into a sky which,

but for the rapid

blaze of Bulwer Lytton, was vacant.

Tennyson and Macaulay, Carlyle and Newman, Gladstone and Disraeli, Arnold and Dickens appear above the horizon together. In Sydney Smith's stately compliments to the Graduate of Oxford,' the eighteenth century bows itself off the stage and introduces its successor.

With the appearance of Vanity Fair in 1847, the constellation is complete and the stars are named. It was part of the felicity of the fifties to possess a literature which was at once topical, contemporary, and classic; to meet the Immortals in the streets, and to read them with added zest for the encounter.

Anchored to its twofold faith in goodness and progress, the early Victorian mind swung wide to the alternating currents of sentiment and party spite, but the virulence of the Press,' and the gush of the popular novel were play on the surface of a deep assurance. >>



Virtual Victorians History Website


They could swagger and they could be maudlin. In public they could ...