1837 when Queen Victoria was crowned at the age of nineteen to when she died in 1901.
Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Joseph Conrad, The Bronte sisters, William Thackeray George Eliot
Alfred Lord Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Christina Rossetti, Robert Browning Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Death, Religion, Disease, Love, Society, Social Class, Reputation, Ruin, Marriage, Ghosts, Supernatural, Roles of men and women.
The Victorian Era was hugely dominated by powerful themes in the rise of the novel; the way books were written and published were very much in accordance to society at the time. In fact, many of the themes written of were a normal part of society which the writers were either using as a tool to make us question its morality or to highlight the social inequality as a point for effective and often tragic storytelling. Charles Dickens remains to this day the most widely read author of the Victorian Era, but many classics have risen from other influential authors of the time, novels treasured still to this very day such as ‘Wuthering Heights’, ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ and ‘Vanity Fair’.
The Bronte sisters had to publicise their novels under a series of pseudonyms: Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. This highlights how society was still very much split into the typically traditional male and female roles, something which was touched on in their literature, a good example of this would be Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre’ which is very much dictated by the power of men over women in various situations such as inheritance and in the workplace.
Victorian Literature was not just influenced by society, however; it was also influenced heavily by other literature and the political standpoints at the time. Charles Dickens included references to politics within his writings and was also a great rival with William Thackeray. Shakespeare continued to be an influence to many writers in the Victorian period, his romantic air and talents for entwining this with nature inspired many novelists of the time.