By R. E. Pritchard
Victorian England used to be, in Tennyson's word, an lousy second of transition. A society dependent principally on agriculture, conventional values, and social hierarchies was once remodeled into one either encouraged and unsettled via extraordinary progress in technological know-how, expertise, undefined, urbanization and inhabitants, and profound wondering of politics, morality, and faith. Its writers energetically printed their responses to the days and the influence that the sort of quickly altering global had upon them. This selection of the superior, wittiest, and most original Victorian writing makes use of cautious observations and acute reviews to convey to lifestyles the range, the strength, and the usually harsh fact of the society that produced and encouraged certainly one of England's most renowned authors.
In addition to Dickens, Pritchard makes use of choices that hide all elements of Victorian existence, together with Henry Mayhew (on the London poor), Elizabeth Gaskell and Engels (on the commercial periods and conditions), William Cobbett and Francis Kilvert (on rural life), Trollope (on Church life), Huxley and Darwin (on technological know-how and evolution), and Carlyle, Ruskin, and Matthew Arnold (on artwork and culture). He additionally presents excerpts from traveling commentators reminiscent of the american citizens Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville. including 50 illustrations, those decisions mix to precise the spirit of what Elizabeth Barrett Browning referred to as this reside, throbbing age, that brawls, cheats, maddens, calculates, [and] aspires.
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Additional info for Dickens's England: Life in Victorian Times
More than a decade before he was attacked in Swift’s Battle of the books, Bentley had proposed a radical transformation of the Royal Library into a great public institution of learning on the continental model. , 53. 38 J. Evelyn, ‘On manuscripts’, in W. ), Memoirs, 2nd edn (London, 1819), vol. 2, 323. , vol. 2, 324. Here and in several letters Evelyn mentions his work on medals as being a supplement to the Instructions; see Evelyn to Godolphin, 8 February 1697/8, in Diary and correspondence, vol.
10 The communication of knowledge was as crucial as its accumulation. The library occupied a central place within Hartlib’s plan for an ‘Office of Address for Communication’, sketched in collaboration with John Dury. It envisaged a Warden ‘authorized to have and keep . . 11 The idea, plainly of Baconian inspiration, was to create a clearing-house for all kinds of practical and speculative knowledge for the general advancement of learning: the ‘Office of Communication should be made a Center and Meeting-place of Advices, of Proposalls, of Treaties and of all Manner of Intellectuall Rarities freely to bee given and received’.
Spencer prints in full Thomason’s description of his collection. 14 The notion of comprehensiveness in Thomason’s collection has been challenged by J.
Dickens's England: Life in Victorian Times by R. E. Pritchard