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The Victorian Period 1830-1901. A Time of Change London becomes most important city in Europe: Population of London expands from 2 to 6 million Impact.

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Presentation on theme: "The Victorian Period 1830-1901. A Time of Change London becomes most important city in Europe: Population of London expands from 2 to 6 million Impact."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Victorian Period

2 A Time of Change London becomes most important city in Europe: Population of London expands from 2 to 6 million Impact of modern urban economy & industrialism World’s foremost imperial power It was a time of relative peace Many Victorian people suffered from anxiety, a sense of being displaced persons in an age of technological advances.

3 Queen Victoria and the Victorian Temper Ruled England for 63 years (from ) – the longest reign of any British monarch She exemplifies Victorian qualities: virtue, modesty, and respectability

4 The Early Victorian Period A troubled time in history UnemploymentPovertyRioting Slums in large cities Working conditions for women and children were terrible

5 The Mid-Victorian Period A time of prosperity A time of improvement A time of stability A time of optimism

6 The Right to Vote The Reform Bill of 1832: Extended the right to vote to all males owning property The Reform Bill of 1867: Extended right to vote to working class Note: Neither extended the vote to women

7 The British Empire Expands Between 1853 and 1880, large scale emigration to British colonies In 1857, Parliament took over the government of India and Queen Victoria became empress of India. Many British people saw the expansion of empire as a moral responsibility. Missionaries spread Christianity in India, Asia, and Africa.

8 Challenges to Religious Belief Science Darwin- the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man (evolution and natural selection) Darwin- the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man (evolution and natural selection) Higher Criticism Examination of the Bible as a mere text of history Examination of the Bible as a mere text of history Advances in Astronomy Advances in Astronomy

9 The Late Victorian Period Decay of Victorian values British imperialism questioned Boer War (anti-British sentiments) Irish question (Britain’s rule over Ireland. Yes, this is the same issue Swift grappled with in 1729) Germany & the U.S. became rival powers Economic depression led to mass immigration Socialism

10 Impact on Victorian Literature Early to mid Victorian era – including authors such as Dickens, Browning, Bronte, and Arnold – were more optimistic. Characters may have struggled but they found happiness with friends and families Early to mid Victorian era – including authors such as Dickens, Browning, Bronte, and Arnold – were more optimistic. Characters may have struggled but they found happiness with friends and families Late Victorian era – including authors such as Hardy and Housman – were more pessimistic and wrote of betrayals, wars, etc.

11 Literacy, Publication, and Reading By the end of the century, literacy was almost universal. Compulsory national education required to the age of ten. Growth of the periodical, novels, and short fiction The reading public expected literature to illuminate social problems.

12 The Victorian Novel The novel was the dominant form in Victorian literature. Victorian novels are realistic with themes including the role of the individual in society. For the first time, women were major writers: the Brontes. Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot. The Victorian novel was a principal form of entertainment.

13 Victorian Poetry Strong influence of the Romantics, but not as confident as the Romantics in the power of the imagination. Dramatic monologue – the idea of creating a lyric poem in the voice of a speaker distinct from the poet – is the great achievement of Victorian poetry. Heavy use of imagery


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