Essay about Victorian Age

The Year 1837 was very significant. It was not only the year that

Queen Victoria acceded the throne, but also the year that a new literary

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age was coined. The Victorian Age, more formally known, was a time of

great prosperity in Great Britain’s literature. The Victorian Age produced a variety of changes. Political and social reform produced a variety of reading among all classes. The lower-class became more self-conscious, the middle class more powerful and the rich became more vulnerable. The novels of Charles Dickens, the poems of Alfred,

Lord Tennyson and Robert Browning, the dramatic plays of Oscar Wilde, the

scientific discoveries of the Darwins, and the religious revolt of Newman

all helped to enhance learning and literacy in the Victorian society. Of

all of the Literary eras, the Victorian age gave a new meaning to the word

controversy. Writers of that time challenged the ideas of religion, crime,

sexuality, chauvinism and over all social controversies.

Queen Victoria influenced the literary age herself. She loved to

read and she was educated in the finest schools in Great Britain. Queen Victoria encouraged reading among all of her people. She gave out free books to children and she built schools for the lower classes. Also the Queen invited prominent Victorian age writers such as Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Charles Dickens to read privately to her in Buckingham Palace.

The Victorian Age was also an era of several unsettling social

developments. This forced writers to take positions on immediate issues

animating the rest of society. Hence, romantic forms of

expression in poetry and prose continued to dominate English literature

throughout much of the century. The attention of many writers was directed

to the growth of the English democracy, education, materiallism, religion,

science and the theory of evolution. The Oxford Movement caused corruption during the Victorian age.

The Tractarians insisted that the Anglican Church was Catholic, not

Protestant and they wanted to establish independence from the rising middle

class. The movement began under the leadership of John Keble

and Paul Newman. Newman attacked the national apostasy in Tracts for the

Times. The book caused an outburst in England. Newman was forced to

resign his position as head of the movement. With …

…ious anxiety and social change. Matthew Arnold expressed

these themes most powerfully in “Dover Beach.” As Victorian novelists, Victorian dramatists attempted to present life realistically. The popular dramatist Oscar Wilde, wrote plays that dealt with social problems directly. The Victorian age was an age of rapid growth and social

change. By the time of Queen Victoria’s death in 1901, Great

Britain had became the literary capital of the world. The

Victorian writers wrote about their changes in their society. Late in the

nineteenth century, the final blow to the Victorian age did not come until

the outbreak of World War One in 1914. For the next four years, novelists,

poets and dramatists directed their energies primarily to war. After the

war ended, the British Empire was shaken badly by the Labour Party. The

ideas and popular forms of the Victorians no longer adequated the radically

different society. The Victorian age came to an end around 1916, ending

one of the most fascinating times in English history.Literature was greatly

affected during the Victorian Age. Victorian literature helped to

strengthen modern literature in all aspects.

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