victorian scheme

The Victorian Age

19th century (1837 – 1901 : reign of Queen Victoria)


Positive side: great expansion of cities; technological development; easier communicationGREAT EXHIBITION (1851)

Negative side. High cost of living; low wages; Corn Law: high cost of corn

1846: Corn Law repealed (cancellata)

1867: second Reform Bill: towns represented in parliament

1884: third Reform bill: representatives of working classes enter the Parliament

Chartist movement to get the universal male vote and limitation of working hours for children and women.


Victorian compromise: great gap between classes (high and low middle classes); working classes


New expansion; war of conquest.

Victoria Empress of India (1876)

Boer war; Crimean War

Florence Nightingale created the Red Cross


Two main periods

  1. Hope and faith in the future thanks to new means of communication and technological/scientific development; social novels stress the social evil thinking to find a solution


Thinkers :

  • C. Darwin (the Evolution of the Species) and

  • John Ruskin (The Seven Lamps of Architectures) : a new, beautiful art to express man’s soul. (Aestheticism)

  1. disillusion of the artists; escape

Journey: to other countries – into the self (the unknown)


Very poor, Mainly Catholics(famine)

1880: Charles Parnell asks for the Home Rule , accepted only after the First World War

Literature: Irish revival (new Irish author very famous in England: O. Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray; Bram Stoker – Dracula)


New settlers (colonizzatori); Independence from Britain (war: 1775–1783)

Slavery in the Southern States

West Coast: gold rush (1848–1855); railway road in the west

Civil War (1861–1865) abolition of slavery;

New territories

Creation of the USA


Gothic: E. A. POE; N. Hawthorne; Washington Irving

About natives: Fennimore Cooper;

About racial problems (H. B. Stove’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin)

Regional: Mark Twain (Tom Sawyer; Huck Finn)

Poetry: Walt Whitman; Emily Dickinson

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