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By James Eli Adams

Incorporating a wide diversity of up to date scholarship, A background of Victorian Literature offers an summary of the literature produced in nice Britain among 1830 and 1900, with clean attention of either significant figures and a few of the era's much less frequent authors. a part of the Blackwell Histories of Literature sequence, the publication describes the improvement of the Victorian literary circulate and locations it inside its cultural, social and political context.A wide-ranging narrative review of literature in nice Britain among 1830 and 1900, taking pictures the intense number of literary output produced in this eraAnalyzes the improvement of all literary types in this interval - the radical, poetry, drama, autobiography and demanding prose - at the side of significant advancements in social and highbrow historyConsiders the ways that writers engaged with new varieties of social accountability of their paintings, as Britain reworked into the world's first business economyOffers a clean point of view at the paintings of either significant figures and a few of the era?s much less primary authors

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Bulwer Lytton, in a review of L. E. ’s 1831 novel, Romance and Reality, recalled during his Cambridge days “a rush every Saturday afternoon for ‘The Literary Gazette’ ” in pursuit of “the three magical letters of ‘L. E. ’ ” “And all of us praised the verse, and all of us guessed at the author. We soon learned it was a female, and our admiration was doubled, and our conjectures tripled. Was she young? Was she pretty? ” (Landon 1997: 331). With her growing visibility in the literary world, particularly after the success of The Improvisatrice in 1824, such speculation soon spilled into gossip that dogged her for the remaining decade of her brief life – a wounding version of the suspicions aroused by women bold enough to lay claim to public notice.

Both men understood the political crisis in historical terms, but Carlyle recognized in Mill’s analysis of the situation more psychological complexity than the young Mill himself was yet able to appreciate. The present age, Mill pronounced, was above all “an age of transition. Mankind have outgrown old institutions and old doctrines, and have not yet acquired new ones” (Mill 1963–91: xxii. 230). 228). Such was Mill’s faith in the irresistible logic of reform – “The superior capacity of the higher ranks for the exercise of worldly power is now a broken spell” (xxii.

In this way Sartor pays symphonic tribute to the power of sublimation: one escapes from the burdens of doubt, even self-consciousness, through utter immersion in duty. The nature of that duty remained vague, as innumerable commentators pointed out, and when conjoined with the deification of heroic will, Carlyle’s exhortations opened the way to a cult of great men. But for at least a generation this hint of authoritarianism was obscured by the hunger for authority itself. Mill and Carlyle would later part company in bitter political disagreement, but Mill took to heart the example of Sartor.

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