1832:the first Reform Bill (the first attempt to give the right of vote to
the lower classes)
1837-1901:queen Victoria's reign
The Victorian age is divided into three periods and two literary phases
conquests for social improvements and
reforms in many fields(education,
sanitation, factory regulation, franchise)
*1851-1870: peace and progress
1851:the year of the great exhibition held by Albert to show the scientific progress
common political guide made by liberals and conservatives
Why the colonisation?
_To solve the problem of the
surplus of population at home;
_To consolidate overseas markets
New Zeland, Australia (penal colonies)
Asia(queen Victoria becomes "Empress of
The great social struggle between
The suburban middle classes are the backbone of the nation.
1884:third reform bill
1900:labour party --> also workers are represented in Parliament
A)The early Victorian Period
The authors are critical towards their age, but they still identify themselves with it.
Poets:Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning
B) Late Victorian period
Strong sense of isolation of the writer and strong forms of criticism of the society:
Novelists: George Eliot
R L. Stevenson
the new creed celebrated by the bourgeoisie.
It's an artificial way of behaving in which your minds are different from
a doctrine which clashes with the reality.
It consists in :-Prudery(politeness, prudence, moderation)
-hypocrisy in behaviour or speech
The Victorianism says: "keep up the appearances".
There is a great contrast between-->
-Ethical conformism iron industries
-Moralism, strict moral code
... and -->public life =
PROSPERITY AND PROGRESS
poverty, ugliness, injustice
postal system, telegraph
Can two different ways of life coexist?
=a general understanding by which a violent revolution was prevented
covering the bad aspects of progress
*Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)-the doctrine of Utilitarianism: the greatest good for the greatest number of people. "What is useful is good"
*Charles Darwin-the theory of evolutionism
*Auguste Compte (1798/1857)-the doctrine of positivism (faith in science and progress, beliving that things always go on better)
*Taine(1828-1893)-he thinks man as a result of three factors:
-the historical moment
FOR and AGAINST
In the multi-faceted output of Victorian essay-writing, sharp critical voices of the contemporary state of things coexisted with enthusiastic commentaries on the achievments of the age. The brilliant essayist and historian Thomas B. MACAULAY, for example, represents the opinion of those who were satisfied with the times and believed that the Victorian expansion of commerce and the constant advancement of science could only carry civilisation forward to grater and more fruitful accomplishments.
Other thinkers, such as Thomas CARLYLE or John RUSKIN, thought that Victorian England was too devoted to materialism and looked into the past to revive lost cultural and spiritual values they thought their time bitterly lacked.
Testo a cura di Monica Cavalieri
anno scolastico 2000/2001