Victorias reign seem markedly different from earlierperiods in British history. It is often described byhistorians and politicians as the time that the worldchanged forever and the age that shaped the globemore then all the previous centuries the world had everseen.
Victorian society witnessed amassive transformation due to the “progress” in a variety of fields, Advancements in science, technology, medicine and engineering coupled with social and religious progress gave birth to a new concept of modernity
The advancement of the steam engine throughthe period brought in a whole new method oftravel, the railways. Train travel revolutionizedthe concept of travel and trade and thousandsof miles of tracks were laid across theempire, for example by 1875 there was anamazing 9000 miles of track that had been laid!
The Industrial RevolutionThe extraordinary industrial development broughthuge changes in terms of working and daily life.One of the main changes that revolution broughtwas machines. Business people establishedplaces named factories. There, they had thesemachines and they needed some people to workwith them.
“The Great Exhibition” in theChrystal Palace, London. Erectedto display the exhibits of modernindustry and science. It shows thenew inventions andcongratulations of English empire.
The power of the middle class increased withthe expansion of industry and tradeThe Reform Bill: it was a response to thedemands of middle classes, who weretaking control of Englands economy. Itextended the right to vote to all malesowning property worth £ 10 or more inannual rent.
The developments of the electricaltelegraph, postal services and theimprovement in ship building andtravel gave way to a new concept offaster communication.
Economical progress:The British economy was strong. Britain became thegreatest economical power in the world
Colonialism was an important phenomenon For better or worse the British Empire had a massive impact on the history of the world. It was the largest formal empire that the world had ever known. As such, its power and influence stretched all over the globe; shaping it in all manner of ways.
Negative aspects of the ageWorking conditions for womenand children were terriblePollution in towns due to factoryactivityLack of hygienic conditions:Houses were overcrowded, most people lived inmiserable conditions; poorhousess shared hared watersuppliesPovertyepidemics
The Victorians were great moralisers theysupported: personal duty, hard work, decorum,respectability, chastity
The leading poets during the Victorian period were: Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), Robert Browning (1812–89), Elizabeth Barrett Browning(1806–61), Matthew Arnold (1822–88). and Emily Dickinson (American Romantic)
the poetry of this period was heavily influenced bythe Romantics, but also went off in its own directions.Particularly notable was the development ofthe dramatic monologue, a form used by many poets inthis period, but perfected by Browning. Dramatic monologue – the idea of Dramaticmonologue – is creating a lyric poem in the voice of aspeaker ironically distinct from the poet.
GENERAL CHARASTERISTICS OF VICTORIAN LITERATURE Poetry: It was considered superior than prose, novel theatre. They said that the writing of a genius must be poetry. There were two main romantic inheritances in poetry: 1.- the use of retrospective forms: archaic language. They revived many old forms (particularly the mixture of lyric and elegy which influenced others forms like epigram). 2.- experimentation with genres. Some poets continued the movement of colloquial diction into poetry (Robert Browning) * The Victorians loved the heroic, chivalrous stories of knights and they hoped to regain some of that noble, courtly behavior and impress it upon the people both at home and in the wider empire.
ThemesNotable poets were absorbed in social issues Tennyson’s poetry: problems of religious faith, social change and political power. Browning’s poetry: intellectually and bracing harshness Arnold’s poetry: sorrowful, disillusioned pessimism over the human plight in rapidly changing times
Victorian poetry is pictorial; poets use detail to construct visualimages that represent the emotion or situation the poem concerns “Throughout this era poetry addressed issues such as patriotism, religious faith, science, sexuality, and social reform that often aroused polemical debate. At the same time, the poets whom we classify as Victorian frequently devised experiments that expanded the possibilities of the genre, creating innovative forms and types of prosody that enabled new kinds of poetic voices to emerge in print.” (Bristow).