J. Alfred Prufrock is not just the speaker of one of Eliot's poems. He isthe Representative Man of early Modernism. Shy, cultivated, oversensitive, sexuallyretarded (many have said impotent), ruminative, isolated, self-aware to the point ofsolipsism, as he says, "Am an attendant lord, one that will do /To swell aprogress, start a scene or two." Nothing revealed the Victorian upper classes inWestern society more accurately, unless it was a novel by Henry James, and nothing betterexposed the dreamy, insubstantial center of that consciousness than a half-dozen poems inEliot's first book. The speakers of all these early poems are trapped inside their ownexcessive alertness. They look out on the world from deep inside some private cave offeeling, and though they see the world and themselves with unflattering exactness, theycannot or will not do anything about their dilemma and finally fall back on self-servingexplanation. They quake before the world, and their only revenge is to be alert. After ,poetry started coming from the city and from theintellect. It could no longer stand comfortably on its old post-Romantic ground, ecstaticbefore the natural world.
Contains chapters on early Victorianism, American literature of the period, and the “emergence of form” in the second half of the 19th century. The latter chapter has sections on poor children in literature, depictions of the family, fantasy and other worlds, fiction of empire, school stories, and poetry. Another chapter traces the transition from 1890 to 1914.
Houghton acknowledges the "fragmentary and incoherent" (xiii) characteristics of the Victorian period, in contrast to general assumptions defining the period simply as morally rigid and intellectually dogmatic, for instance....
Charles Dickens saw the injustice of the class system in Victorian society and worked to highlight the immorality of the upper class through his literature.
A collection of 19th-century reviews of children’s literature. This is an essential book for anyone interested in how children’s books were received in the Victorian period.
Demers has an enviable knowledge of the history of children’s literature, including its Puritan tradition. In this study, she brings her survey of religious books for the young into the early Victorian period.
Plotz explores the child of the pure unclouded brow in High Romantic writers such as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Lamb, and DeQuincey, but her deft articulations of the ambivalences that gather around this child figure inform our understanding of the Victorian inheritance from Romanticism. The connection between the child and death is important for the many deathbed scenes in Victorian literature for both young and old.
Forsyth) The poet and Victorian literary and social critic Matthew Arnold distinctly expresses his age’s deepest anxieties, rising from a world being utterly redefined by industrialisation....
A study of the disruptive effects of the orphan on the British Victorian family. Some of the novels scrutinized are not well known, including a couple of anonymously published fictions and C. Wall’s The Orphan’s Tale (1838) aimed at a youth audience. Interestingly, Peters connects the orphan with aspects of colonialism. An important study of a neglected topic.
To judge from the scholarship, fantasy was the most popular genre for children in the Victorian period. Such a judgment may be hasty, but clearly Victorian fantasy has attracted critical interest, especially of a feminist kind. The recent studies also indicate a growing interest in writers, especially women writers, who have not had the critical reputation of Carroll or MacDonald. Ingelow, Molesworth, Ewing, Rossetti, and to a certain extent Mulock all now have a growing amount of critical commentary. Canonical authors receive attention in , , , , , and . Work on women writers of fantasy appears in , , and . demonstrates that some fantasy, as well as realistic stories, deals with animals. Some writers, however, remain underdiscussed: for example, Lucy Lane Clifford, Harriet Child-Pemberton, and Augusta Webster. Another area neglected is writing for children by canonical writers such as Mary Gaskell, Thomas Hardy, and William Thackeray. And other figures such as Mary DeMorgan and Laurence Houseman are also neglected. Works listed here represent the major discussions of Victorian fantasy for children.
The word ‘occult’ is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as; ‘Not apprehended, or not apprehensible, by the mind; beyond ordinary understanding or knowledge; abstruse, mysterious; inexplicable.’ And it is with this definition that we will gain an understanding of the Victorians interest in occultism, and the very different ways in which these interests were shared by female spiritualists, as well as those whom had been left spiritually bereft by the work of Charles Darwin, and the scientific thinkers of the day who believed that their work was for the greater good of humanity....
This study takes a long view, arguing that the children’s literature of the 18th century and works such as Robinson Crusoe and Pamela form the infrastructure for Victorian children’s books. Both canonical and noncanonical books in the Victorian period register the child’s desire to move beyond innocence and enter the bustling world of adult activity and desire.
Another work that traces connections between Romanticism and children’s literature. Writers such as George MacDonald, Christina Rossetti, and Kenneth Grahame share tropes and ideas figured in Wordsworth, Coleridge, and their contemporaries. The book is light on theory and context but stronger in its close readings. Sandner glosses a number of other Victorian children’s writers. The sublime serves as a structuring idea, but the book is thin on conceptions of the sublime.