Jane Eyre , by her sister Charlotte, is another major nineteenth century novel that has gothic themes. Anne's second novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall , written in realistic rather than romantic style, is mainly considered to be the first sustained feminist novel. In the later decades of the Victorian era Thomas Hardy was the most important novelist. Other significant novelists of this era were Elizabeth Gaskell — , Anthony Trollope — , George Meredith — , and George Gissing — Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning conducted their love affair through verse and produced many tender and passionate poems.
Both Matthew Arnold and Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote poems which sit somewhere in between the exultation of nature of the romantic Poetry and the Georgian Poetry of the early 20th century. However Hopkins's poetry was not published until Arnold's works anticipate some of the themes of these later poets, while Hopkins drew inspiration from verse forms of Old English poetry such as Beowulf. The reclaiming of the past was a major part of Victorian literature with an interest in both classical literature but also the medieval literature of England.
The Victorians loved the heroic, chivalrous stories of knights of old and they hoped to regain some of that noble, courtly behaviour and impress it upon the people both at home and in the wider empire. The best example of this is Alfred Tennyson 's Idylls of the King , which blended the stories of King Arthur , particularly those by Thomas Malory , with contemporary concerns and ideas. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood also drew on myth and folklore for their art, with Dante Gabriel Rossetti contemporaneously regarded as the chief poet amongst them, although his sister Christina is now held by scholars to be a stronger poet.
The first play to achieve consecutive performances was the London comedy Our Boys by H. Byron , opening in Its astonishing new record of 1, performances was bested in by Charley's Aunt by Brandon Thomas. Gilbert , Oscar Wilde became the leading poet and dramatist of the late Victorian period. Wilde's comic masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest , was the greatest of the plays in which he held an ironic mirror to the aristocracy while displaying virtuosic mastery of wit and paradoxical wisdom.
It has remained extremely popular. The Victorians are credited with 'inventing childhood', partly via their efforts to stop child labour and the introduction of compulsory education. As children began to be able to read, literature for young people became a growth industry, with not only established writers producing works for children such as Dickens' A Child's History of England but also a new group of dedicated children's authors.
Writers like Lewis Carroll , R. Ballantyne and Anna Sewell wrote mainly for children, although they had an adult following. Other authors such as Anthony Hope and Robert Louis Stevenson wrote mainly for adults, but their adventure novels are now generally classified as for children. Other genres include nonsense verse , poetry which required a childlike interest e.
Lewis Carroll. Compiling folk tales by many authors with different topics made it possible for children to read literature by and about lots of different things that interested them. There were different types of books and magazines written for boys and girls. Girls' stories tended to be domestic and to focus on family life, whereas boys' stories were more about adventures. The Victorian era was an important time for the development of science and the Victorians had a mission to describe and classify the entire natural world. Much of this writing does not rise to the level of being regarded as literature but one book in particular, Charles Darwin 's On the Origin of Species , remains famous.
The theory of evolution contained within the work challenged many of the ideas the Victorians had about themselves and their place in the world. Although it took a long time to be widely accepted, it would dramatically change subsequent thought and literature. Much of the work of popularizing Darwin's theories was done by his younger contemporary Thomas Henry Huxley , who wrote widely on the subject. A number of other non-fiction works of the era made their mark on the literature of the period. The philosophical writings of John Stuart Mill covered logic , economics, liberty and utilitarianism.
The writings of Thomas Babington Macaulay on English history helped codify the Whig narrative that dominated the historiography for many years. John Ruskin wrote a number of highly influential works on art and the history of art and championed such contemporary figures as J. Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites.
The Realistic Novel in the Victorian Era | British Literature Wiki
A number of monumental reference works were published in this era, most notably the Oxford English Dictionary which would eventually become the most important historical dictionary of the English language. The old Gothic tales that came out of the late 19th century are the first examples of the genre of fantastic fiction. These tales often centred on larger-than-life characters such as Sherlock Holmes , famous detective of the times, Sexton Blake , Phileas Fogg , and other fictional characters of the era, such as Dracula , Edward Hyde , The Invisible Man , and many other fictional characters who often had exotic enemies to foil.
Spanning the 18th and 19th centuries, there was a particular type of story-writing known as gothic. Gothic literature combines romance and horror in attempt to thrill and terrify the reader. Possible features in a gothic novel are foreign monsters, ghosts, curses, hidden rooms and witchcraft. Gothic tales usually take place in locations such as castles, monasteries, and cemeteries, although the gothic monsters sometimes cross over into the real world, making appearances in cities such as London.
Writers from the United States and the British colonies of Australia, New Zealand and Canada were influenced by the literature of Britain and are often classed as a part of Victorian literature, although they were gradually developing their own distinctive voices. The problem with the classification of "Victorian literature" is the great difference between the early works of the period and the later works which had more in common with the writers of the Edwardian period and many writers straddle this divide.
The Romantic Period and the Victorian Age in Great Britain Essays
Wells , Bram Stoker , H. The first phase of the project concerns the correspondence of Anna Brownell Murphy Jameson and Harriet Martineau More than 1, records have been generated from the correspondence of these two women. Indiana University. Women Poets of the Romantic Period — The University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries has a significant collection of first and early editions of works by women poets of the British Romantic Period The collection contains nearly works, several of which are available in the CU Digital Library.
Women Romantic Era Writers — An extensive list of Web resources on period women writers, arranged alphabetically. The site also features links to contemporary responses and cultural and visual resources for Romantic women writers. Adriana Craciun, University of London, Birbeck. It includes full transcriptions of texts published between and , focusing on materials that are rare or inaccessible.
Benjamin Colbert, University of Wolverhampton. University of Virgina Electronic Text Center. Includes links to reviews of the CD-Rom and information on editorial procedure. Edited by David S.
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Garry Harrison, University of New Mexico. Bibliography of Nineteenth-Century Irish Literature — Includes links to electronic texts housed on this site as well as citations for other electronic resources. Julia Wright, Wilfrid Laurier University. Color Printing in the Nineteenth Century — A site detailing this exhibition from the Special Collections Gallery of the Morris Library, University of Delaware, displaying books published from the late eighteenth century and illustrating the technical development in color printing.
University of Delaware Library.
- History in Focus.
- Victorian literature - Wikipedia.
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The Dictionary of Sensibility — A dictionary of terms based on the discourse of sensibility. Definitions are given by passages in primary source materials. University of Virginia. The Literary Gothic — Archive of Gothic e-texts, general resources for the study of the gothic and a guide to gothic-related research. Jack G. Voller, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
Alan Richardson, Boston College. Modernist Journals Project — Though it falls at the very outer limit of the BWWA, it is a longth century project intended to provide basic information about all the English-language magazines of literary and artistic interest operating during the period from to Brown U and U of Tulsa. London Stage Project — A documentary record and calendar of performances in London based on playbills, programs, licensing copies and other documents.
Joseph Donohue, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The Regency Fashion Page — Featuring images of fashion plates from journals, paintings of Regency clothing, and synopses of Regency fashion by year. Cathy Decker, Chaffey College.
University of Rochester, prepared by Library staff. Ashton Nichols, Dickinson College.