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The Victorian Period The Victorian period formally begins in 1837 (the year Victoria became Queen) and

ends in 1901 (the year of her death) !s a matter of e"pediency# these dates are sometimes modified slightly 1830 is usually considered the end of the $omantic period in %ritain# and thus ma&es a con'enient starting date for Victorianism (imilarly# since Queen Victoria)s death occurred so soon in the beginning of a ne* century# the end of the pre'ious century pro'ides a useful closing date for the period The common perception of the period is the Victorians are +prudish# hypocritical# stuffy# ,andnarro*.minded/ (0urfin 192) This perception is (as most periodic generali3ations are) not uni'ersally accurate# and it is thus a grie'ous error to 4ump to the conclusion that a *riter or artist fits that description merely because he or she *rote during the mid to late 19th century 5o*e'er# it is also true that this description applies to some large segments of Victorian 6nglish society# particularly amongst the middle.class# *hich at the time *as increasing both in number and po*er 0any members of this middle.class aspired to 4oin the ran&s of the nobles# and felt that acting +properly#/ according to the con'entions and 'alues of the time# *as an important step in that direction !nother important aspect of this period is the large.scale e"pansion of %ritish imperial po*er %y 1830# the %ritish empire had# of course# e"isted for centuries# and had already e"perienced many boons and setbac&s 7erhaps the most significant blo* to its po*er occurred in the late 18th century *ith the successful re'olt of its 13 !merican colonies# an e'ent *hich *ould e'entually result in the formation of the 8nited (tates as *e no* &no* it 9uring the 19th century# the %ritish empire e"tensi'ely e"panded its colonial presence in many parts of !frica# in :ndia# in the middle.east and in other parts of !sia This process has had many long.term effects# including the increased use of the 6nglish language outside of 6urope and increased trade bet*een 6urope and distant regions :t also# of course# produced some long.standing animosity in coloni3ed regions Literature of the Victorian Period: :t is important to reali3e from the outset that the Victorian period is ;uite long Victoria)s reign lasted o'er 23 years# longer than any other %ritish monarch The Victorian era lasted roughly t*ice as long as the $omantic period <eeping in mind that e'en the relati'ely short $omantic period sa* a *ide 'ariety of distinguishing characteristics# it is logical that much longer Victorian period includes e'en more 'ariety %elo* are a fe* of the note*orthy characteristics *hich appear often enough to be *orth mentioning# but certainly do not encompass the entirety of the period

The dri'e for social ad'ancement fre;uently appears in literature This dri'e may ta&e many forms :t may be primarily financial# as in =harles 9ic&ens)s Great Expectations :t may in'ol'e marrying abo'e one)s station# as in =harlotte %ronte)s Jane Eyre :t may also be intellectual or education.based Typically# any such attempt to impro'e one)s

social standing must be accompanied by +proper/ beha'ior (thus helping to pro'ide the period *ith its stereotype) The period sa* the rise of a highly ideali3ed notion of *hat is +6nglish/ or *hat constitutes an +6nglishman / This notion is ob'iously tied 'ery closely to the period)s models for proper beha'ior# and is also tied 'ery closely to 6ngland)s imperial enterprises 0any colonists and politicians sa* it as their political (and sometimes religious) duty to +help/ or +ci'ili3e/ nati'e populations in coloni3ed regions :t *as thus important to ha'e a model *hich pro'ides a set of standards and codes of conduct# and the ideali3ed notion of *hat is +6nglish/ often pro'ided this model >ater Victorian *riting sa* the seeds of rebellion against such ideali3ed notions and stereotypical codes of conduct These +proper/ beha'iors often ser'ed as sub4ects of satire? @scar Ailde)s plays are an e"cellent e"ample The later years of the Victorian period also sa* the rise of aestheticism# the +art for art)s sa&e/ mo'ement# *hich directly contradicted the social and political goals of much earlier Victorian literature @ne of the fascinating *ays of approaching the Victorian period is to e"amine the influence of these later de'elopments on the 0odernist period *hich follo

9efining Victorian literature in any satisfactory and comprehensi'e manner has pro'en troublesome for critics e'er since the nineteenth century came to a close The mo'ement roughly comprises the years from 1830 to 1900# though there is ample disagreement regarding e'en this simple point The name gi'en to the period is borro*ed from the royal matriarch of 6ngland# Queen Victoria# *ho sat on throne from 1837 to 1901 @ne has difficulty determining *ith any accuracy *here the $omantic 0o'ement of the early nineteenth century lea'es off and the Victorian 7eriod begins because these traditions ha'e so many aspects in common >i&e*ise# identifying the point *here Victorianism gi'es *ay completely to 0odernism is no easy tas& >iterary periods are ne'er the discrete# self.contained realms *hich the anthologies so suggest $ather# a literary period more closely resembles a rope that is frayed at both ends 0any threads ma&e up the rope and *or& together to form the *hole artistic and cultural milieu The Victorian *riters e"hibited some *ell.established habits from pre'ious eras# *hile at the same time pushing arts and letters in ne* and interesting directions :ndeed# some of the later Victorian no'elists and poets are nearly indistinguishable from the 0odernists *ho follo*ed shortly thereafter :n spite of the uncertainty of terminology# there are some concrete statements that one can ma&e regarding the nature of Victorian literature# and the intellectual *orld *hich nurtured that literature :f there is one transcending aspect to Victorian 6ngland life and society# that aspect is change B or# more accurately# uphea'al 6'erything that the pre'ious centuries had held as sacred and indisputable truth came under assault during the middle and latter parts of the nineteenth century Cearly e'ery institution of society *as sha&en by rapid and unpredictable change :mpro'ements to steam engine technology led to increased factory production 0ore manufacturing re;uired more coal to be mined from the ground The economies of 6urope e"panded and accelerated# as the foundations of a completely global economy *ere laid 5uge amounts of *ealth *ere

created# and the spirit of the times discouraged the regulation of business practices Today# this is called laisse3.faire economics This generation of *ealth *as to the sole benefit of the ne*ly risen +middle class#/ an urbane# entrepreneurial segment of society *hich sa* itself as the natural successor to the noble)s former position of influence !t the same time# scientific ad'ancements *ere undermining the position of the =hurch in daily life =harles 9ar*in)s theories of e'olution and natural selection brought humanity do*n to the le'el of the animal# and seemingly reduced the meaning of life to a bloody struggle for sur'i'al $ather than a benign =reator# the *orld *as dominated and steered by strength alone :n the general population# the e'er.present gap bet*een the ha'es and ha'e.nots *idened significantly during the Victorian period The poorest of their poor found their lot in life to be *orse than it had e'er been# as the ne* mar&et economy fa'ored industry o'er agriculture >arge numbers of dispossessed farmers and peasants migrated from the countryside to the cities# see&ing *or& in the factories The effects of that demographic shift can still be obser'ed =onditions in the o'er*helmed# spra*ling cities degenerated as the infrastructure simply could not handle the influ" of ne* *or&ers (lums and shantyto*ns became the norm# and depredation *as a fact of life for the ma4ority of the *or&ing class Dor some# the fundamental changes ta&ing place in the *orld meant progress# and *ere a source of hope and optimism Dor the ma4ority of *riters and thin&ers# ho*e'er# the ine;uality present in Victorian society *as a &ind of illness that *ould sooner or later come to a tipping point 0any intellectuals sa* it as their duty to spea& out against the in4ustices of this ne* and frightening *orld 6ssayists li&e Thomas =arlyle railed against the systematic abuse he sa* happening all around him 5e sa* machinery and the :ndustrial $e'olution as engines of destruction# stripping people of their 'ery humanity The le'el of social consciousness and immediate rele'ancy one finds in much of Victorian *riting *as something not *itnessed before in 6nglish letters $ather than turning inside or escaping into fantasy# essayists and no'elists chose to directly address the pressing social problems of the day These problems ranged from atrocious labor conditions and rampant po'erty to the issue of *omen)s place in the *orld B *hat contemporaries referred to as +The Aoman Question / 6li3abeth %arrett.%ro*ning)s long. form poem +The =ry of the =hildren/ represents an attac& on mining practices in 6ngland# specifically the employment of young children to *or& deep in the mines %arrett.%ro*ning had been outraged by a report she read detailing the practice and felt compelled to ma&e her 'oice heard on the issue (he *as certainly not alone in this feeling Co'elist =harles 9ic&ens made a cottage industry out of addressing social ills in a light.hearted# optimistic tone 6ach of his many no'els called attention to real.*orld problems that others might 4ust as soon ha'e s*ept under the rug 9ic&ens is also note*orthy for his +roc& star/ status# attaining popularity that *ould not ha'e been possible in the pre'ious generation 5e *rote *ith a 'oice that *as 'ery accessible to the ordinary reader of the time# and yet couched *ithin his fiction *ere essential ;uestions that society *ould sooner or later be forced to confront @ne cannot say e"actly ho* much influence 9ic&ens and others had on their society# but the fact that they tried to change their *orld is *hat is important Ariters of the preceding era did not spea& to a popular audience nearly as much as

the Victorians# or at least not as self.consciously The $omantic 0o'ement *as mar&ed by intro'ersion and abstraction? they *ere much less interested in commenting on# much less altering the course of *orld e'ents Durthermore# the $omantics did not see leadership as a primary ob4ecti'e for art Victorians# on the other hand# tacitly agreed that encouraging society to*ard a higher good *as a righteous# noble occupation for any artist Cot surprisingly# *omen in the Victorian *orld held 'ery little po*er and had to fight hard for the change they *anted in their li'es Ahat one thin&s of as feminism today had not yet ta&en form in the Victorian period The philosophy of female emancipation# ho*e'er# became a rallying point for many female Victorian *riters and thin&ers Though their philosophies and methods *ere often ;uite di'ergent# the ultimate goal of intellectual *omen in the nineteenth century *as largely the same 7oets and no'elists fre;uently had to be coy *hen addressing their status in society =hristina $ossetti)s +Eoblin 0ar&et/ combines early feminist imagery *ith many other concepts in a fairy.tale li&e *orld of imagination 5er use of religious symbolism is especially fascinating Though not as highly regarded# >etitia 6li3abeth >andon *as also an accomplished and popular female poet =harlotte and 6mily %rontF crafted no'els that ha'e stood the test of time and ta&en their place as literary classics These *omen *ere e"ceptions to the rule 7atriarchy had been firmly entrenched in Aestern society for so long that *omen *riters faced an uphill climb to gain any le'el recognition and acceptance (ome authors# li&e 0ary !nn 6'ans# felt the need to *or& under a male pseudonym in order to recei'e recognition 6'ans published her first t*o no'els# Adam Bede and Scenes of Clerical Life# under the false name of Eeorge 6liot :nterestingly# e'en today 6'ans is more commonly &no*n by her pseudonym than her real name :n the early years of the Victorian 7eriod# poetry *as still the most 'isible of literary forms >i&e e'erything else# poetry and poetics under*ent an e'olution during the nineteenth century %oth the purpose of poetry and its basic style and tone changed drastically during the Victorian 7eriod :n the first half of the nineteenth century# poetry *as still mired in the escapist# abstract imagery and themes of the earlier generation Ahile essayists and no'elists *ere confronting social issues head.on# poets for their part remained ambi'alent at best This self.induced coma gradually lifted# and by mid.century most poets had mo'ed a*ay from the abstractions and metaphysical tropes of the $omantics and fashioned a more do* realistic &ind of 'erse !lfred# >ord Tennyson *as the master of simple# earthy lyricism to *hich e'eryone could relate 5is In Memoriam sho*s off this simplicity and economy of 'erse# *hile remaining an effecti'e and mo'ing elegy for his deceased friend !rthur 5allam The obsession *ith the natural *orld and the imagination that so clearly distinguished the $omantic poets *as supplanted during the Victorian 7eriod by a clear.headed# almost utilitarian &ind of poetics The sub4ect matter of Victorian poetry *as ;uite often socially.oriented# but this *as by no means set in stone Victorian poets *ere nothing if not masters of 'ariety and in'enti'eness $obert %ro*ning)s dramatic monologues# for e"ample# co'ered a *ide array of sub4ects# from lucid dreams to the nature of art and e'en the meaning of e"istence Throughout his 'arious aesthetic e"periments#

%ro*ning ne'er failed to in4ect humanity into his sub4ect matter +The %ishop @rders 5is Tomb at (t 7ra"ed)s =hurch#/ one of %ro*ning)s most famous poems# demonstrates the intensity and psychological realism he *as able to portray in the space of a fe* hundred lines !t some point in the Victorian era# the no'el replaced the poem as the most fashionable 'ehicle for the transmission of literature This fundamental shift in popular taste has remained to the present day (erial publications in maga3ines and 4ournals became more and more popular# and soon these pieces *ere being bound and sold in their complete forms 9ic&ens made full use of the serial format# and his no'els betray the episodic arrangement of their original publication method 5e *as the first great popular no'elist in 6ngland# and *as the forerunner of the artist. celebrity figure *hich in the t*entieth century *ould become the norm The influence of 9ic&ens *as so se'ere that e'ery no'elist *ho came after him had to *or& under his aesthetic shado* 7art of his appeal certainly o*ed to the fact that his literary style# *hile al*ays entertaining# put the ills of society under the microscope for e'eryone to see 5is Hard Times *as a condemning portrait of society)s obsession *ith logic and scientific ad'ancement at the e"panse of the imagination 8ntil the Victorian 7eriod# the no'el had been fro*ned upon as a lesser form of *riting# incapable of the sublime reaches of lyric poetry =ritics sa* that the no'el appealed to a popular# often female readership# and therefore dismissed it as artless and dull The later Victorian no'elists# ho*e'er# pro'ed that the form could attain heights of artistic achie'ement pre'iously reser'ed only for poetry Thomas 5ardy# for e"ample# pushed the no'el to its limits# significantly e"panding the possibilities of the form !lthough he thought of himself more as a poet# his first best talent lay in constructing detailed# fatalistic plot.structures that still capti'ate readers Co'els li&e Jude the !scure share many ;ualities *ith Eree& tragedy# of *hich 5ardy *as ;uite fond# but they also contain psychologically sophisticated# realistic characteri3ations 5is gift for characteri3ation *ould influence an entire generation of *riters Thomas 5ardy must be regarded as a &ey forerunner of the 0odernist 0o'ement in literature 5is no'els and poetry all display tendencies that *ould reach their ape" in the early t*entieth century 5ardy often created desolate# hopeless *orlds *here life had 'ery little meaning 5e also acti'ely ;uestioned the rele'ance of modern institutions# in particular organi3ed religion (entiments li&e these *ould find accomplished spo&espersons in poets li&e T ( 6liot and 63ra 7ound !nother s&illed poet *ho is often considered a precursor to 0odernism is Eerard 0anley 5op&ins Though he ne'er published in his lifetime# his *or& *as greatly recei'ed after his death 5is unusual use of language set him apart from 'irtually e'ery other poet of his day 5op&ins *as 'ery much concerned *ith religion and the nature of =reation 5o*e'er# he still preser'ed a healthy ;uantity of s&epticism :t is this e"istential doubt that# li&e 5ardy# made 5op&ins a fa'orite among the 0odernist *riters *ho *ould later disco'er his *or& Dor many# the *ord +Victorian/ con4ures up images of o'er.dressed ladies and snooty gentlemen gathered in parlors and reading rooms The idea of +manners/ essentially sums up the social climate of middle.class 6ngland in the nineteenth century $ules of personal conduct *ere in fact so infle"ible that the Victorians garnered a reputation for saying one thing *hile doing another B

an attac& that the ne"t generation of *riters *ould ta&e up *ith 'igor :n the *orld at large# change *as happening faster than many people could comprehend ! surging global economy *as orchestrated by the might of the %ritish 6mpire The nobility# formerly at the top of the pyramid in society# found their status reduced as agriculture lost its preeminence in the no* industrial economy 0echani3ation and steam po*er led to ruthless efficiency# *hile more often than not the poor suffered under the *eight of the capitalist middle class %eing impo'erished in Victorian 6ngland *as unpleasant to say the least# but there *ere efforts under*ay to impro'e the lot of the poor The $eform %ills of the nineteenth century e"tended 'oting rights to men *ho *ere pre'iously disenfranchised B but not# of course# to *omen That *ould re;uire years more of struggle Dor all of the social ine;ualities *hich still persisted# the Victorians successfully undermined some of humanity)s most time.honored institutions (ome *riters greeted these changes *ith fear# and *anted desperately for society to chec& its relentless pace @thers embraced the ne* *orld that *as coming into being# thrilled at the progress of science and society Together# these 'oices comprise an important and sometimes o'erloo&ed era in 6nglish literary history This article is copyrighted G H011 by Ialic :nc 9o not reprint it *ithout permission Aritten by Iosh $ahn Iosh holds a 0asters degree in 6nglish >iterature from 0orehead (tate 8ni'ersity# and a 0asters degree in >ibrary (cience from the 8ni'ersity of <entuc&y Major Writers of the Victorian Period !rnold# 0atthe* (18HH.1888) %rontF# =harlotte (1812.18JJ) %rontF# 6mily (1818.1818) %ro*ning# 6li3abeth %arrett (1802.1821) %ro*ning# $obert (181H.1889) =arroll# >e*is (183H.1898) =arlyle# Thomas (179J.1881) 9ic&ens# =harles (181H.1870) 9oyle# !rthur =onan (18J9.1930) 6liot# Eeorge (1819.1880) 5ardy# Thomas (1810.19H8) 5op&ins# Eerard 0anley (1811.1889) 5ousman# ! 6 (18J9.1932) <ipling# $udyard (182J.1932) >andon# >etitia 6li3abeth (180H.1838)

$ossetti# =hristina (1830.1891) $ossetti# 9ante Eabriel (18H8.188H) (te'enson# $obert >ouis (18J0.1891) (*inburne# !lgernon =harles (1837.1909) Tennyson# !lfred (>ord) (1809.189H) Thac&eray# Ailliam 0a&epeace (1811.1823) Aells# 5 E (1822.1912) Ailde# @scar (18J1.1900) Keats# Ailliam %utler (182J.1939)

ENGLISH LITERATURE IN THE NINETEENTH ENTUR! A "rief #ut$ine Cineteenth century 6nglish literature is remar&able both for high artistic achie'ement and for 'ariety The greatest literary mo'ement of its earlier period *as that of romanticism :t *as born in the atmosphere of the 'iolent economic and political turmoil that mar&ed the last decades of the 18th and the first decades of the 19th century The outburst of political acti'ity brought on by the Ereat Drench $e'olution of 1789# the bitter *ars *ith CapoleonLs Drance that ra'aged 6urope for almost HJ years *ere the dominant political forces at *or& The hardships of the industrial and agrarian re'olution *hose 4oint effect *as a gradual change of all aspects of social life in 6ngland made the situation rife *ith class hatred Ereat distress *as caused by large lando*ners enclosing millions of acres of land for their o*n purposes and thus dispossessing labourers *ho *ere reduced either to sla'ing on the fields of their masters or to migrating in search of the means to support themsel'es by *or&ing 1HM11 hours a day for *ages notoriously belo* subsistence le'el The labouring poor# in to*n and country ali&e# suffered the utmost misery from underpayment and o'er*or& and from cro*ding in hugely o'erpopulated industrial areas 0isery resulted in blind outbrea&s against machinery# *hich# the *or&ers belie'ed# did their *or& lea'ing themsel'es to unemployment and their families to slo* star'ation 0ean*hile Nthe rights of labour *ere not yet recognised# there *ere no trade unions the ma4ority of country. people could not read or *rite? the good old discipline of Dather (tic& and his children =at.@L. Cine.Tails# $opeLs 6nd# (trap# %irch# Derule# and =ane *as *holesomely maintained? landlords# manufacturers and employers of all &inds did *hat they pleased *ith their o*n 6lections *ere carried by open bribery the =hurch *as intolerant# the 8ni'ersities narro* and pre4udiced N The situation *as not any better *hen the long *ished for peace *as at last ushered in by the 'ictory o'er CapoleonLs army at Aaterloo (181J) 8nemployment became *orse than e'er after soldiers came home only to find that Nthe labouring people *ere almost all become paupers N This *as the *ay the situation *as summed up by Ailliam =obbett# a democratic *riter and publisher reno*ned for his support of peopleLs rights !fter a 4ourney across 6ngland he *rote *ith the simple elo;uence so characteristic of himO N5ere are all the means of national po*er and of indiP'idual plenty and happiness e'ery ob4ect seemed to pronounce an eulogium on the

industry# s&ill and perse'erance of the people !nd *hy then *ere those people in a state of such misery and degradationQN 0ean*hile the *ealthy ruling classes *ere frightened by *hat they called the e"cesses of the Drench $e'olution and by the gro*ing spirit of discontent at home They *ere e'er ready to see rebellion in any attempt of the *or&ers to better their lot They in'ariably 'oted for a conser'ati'e go'ernment at home and supported all its blundering attempts to suppress re'oltO NThe leaders of reaction reigned suPpreme filled *ith dread of the re'olution they seemed to thin& that the only funcPtion of go'ernment *as the maintenance of order and the suppression of rebellion N This# briefly# *as the bac&ground of the 6nglish romantic mo'ement :ts principal stimuli *ere on the one hand profound dissatisfaction *ith the atmosphere of reaction that seemed to ha'e set in for good after the hope and fer'our of the Drench $e'olution *as ;uenched in the blood of *ars and numerous uprisings The state of things in 6urope seemed to moc& the theories of the great men of the 6nlightenment *ho had e"pected to see a *orld transformed by reason and common sense Thence the romantic distrust of reason# rationalism# emphasis on emotion# intuition# the instincti'e *isdom of the heart# on nature as opposed to ci'ilisation @n the other hand# romantic *riters *ere 'iolently stirred by the suffering of *hich they *ere the daily un*illing *itnesses They *ere an"ious to find a *ay of redressing the cruel social *rongs and hoped to do so by their *ritings# by*ord or deed ! feature that all romantics had in common *as a belief in literature being a sort of mission to be carried out in the teeth of all difficulties# *ith the 'ie* of bringing aid or# presumably# sal'ation to man&ind :n using the term NromanticN no effort is made here to treat all the romantics of 6ngland as belonging to the same literary school $omanticism is here regarded as a 'ery comple" and certainly far from unified endea'our to gi'e a ne* ans*er to the problems of re'olution and reaction# of past history and politics# of the materialistic philosophy dominant in the age of 6nlightenment and the idealPistic trends in.early nineteenth century 6uropean thought :t is in the nature of the ans*er gi'en to all these urgent ;uestions that the romantics differ from each other !nd it is precisely that difference# no less than the points of li&eness bet*een them# that should be gi'en serious consideration !s distinct from the romantic *riters of Eermany or of Drance# their 6nglish contemporaries did not call themsel'es romanticists# and some of them *ere at pains to dispro'e public opinion calling them so Ce'ertheless they all made part of a mo'ement elo;uent of the spirit of the age# *ith its ingrained sense of incessant historical change# of the interdependence of man and the 8ni'erse# of the *orld as ruled by semi.intelligible po*ers surpassing indi'idual *ill The first 6nglish poet to be fully a*are of the dilemmas of the age of great bourgeois re'olutions *as Ailliam %la&e 5is poetry has been discussed in the first 'olume of the present series (!n !nthology of 6nglish >iterature# RV:::) *here he chronologically belongs# but as a forerunner of romanticism in the 19th century he must also be mentioned here# %la&eLs 'iolent re'ulsion from rationalism# his repeatedly proclaimed belief in intuition and inspiration as the only paths to true *isdom# his idealistic and mystic conceptions of humanity and its mysterious *ays *ere then ;uite original (imilar ideas *ere later ta&en up by many poets *ho did not &no* of his *or&# as in his o*n life.time he published but one of his boo&s of poetry The rest of his numerous lyrics and epics ne'er reached the public of his days :n his portrayal of a gigantic

*orld in the "rophetic Lays %la&e precedes the %yron of Cain and Hea#en and Earth$ the (helley of "rometheus %n!ound& Though bitterly disappointed in the do*nfall of the Drench $e'olution# for reasons that *ere personal as *ell as public# %la&e ne'er *a'ered in his de'otion to the cause of freedom# in his hatred of oppression and ine;uality :n this he difPfered from his younger contemporaries Ailliam Aords*orth and (amuel Taylor =oleridge %oth began as *arm admirers of the $e'olution# so much so that AordsP*orth e'en tra'elled to Drance to *itness the great liberation of man&ind %ut after their hopes *ere baffled *hen a rapacious bourgeois cli;ue came to po*er in 1791# *hen the Drench republic started aggressi'e *ars against its neighbours# both poets arri'ed at the conclusion that they had been un*ise in e"pecting any good to come of political change# in placing too much trust in the capacity of reason to create a self.sufficient and *ell. regulated society of e;uals %oth poets resol'ed to *ithdra* from the e'ils of big industrial# cities and to de'ote themsel'es to see&ing truth and beauty in the ;uiet of in the grandeur and purity of nature# among unsophisticated and uncorrupted countryPfol& They dreamed of creating art that *ould be true to the best that is in man and help to bring it out by sheer force of poetry >i'ing in the >a&e country of Corthern 6ngland they *ere &no*n as the >a&ists Together they composed and published a small 'olume of poems entitled Lyri'cal Ballads to *hich =oleridge contributed the gruesome tale of the Ancient Mariner and four more lyrics The bul& of the 'olume *as supplied by Aords*orth 5e called his ballads lyrical# because theft interest did not lie in sub4ect.matter and plot but in mood and treatment# in ma&ing one feeling modify and transform all other feelings and all the persons and e'ents described That treatment *as *hat AordsP*orth and =oleridge termed imaginati'e %y imagination they meant the most essential faculty of a poet# the one that enables him to modify all images# to gi'e unity to 'ariety and see all things in one 1 NThis po*er re'eals itself in the balance or reconcilement of opposite or discordant ;ualities? of sameness *ith difference? of the general *ith the concrete? the idea *ith the image? the indi'idual *ith the representati'e? the sense of no'elty and freshness *ith old and familiar ob4ects? a more than usual state of emotion *ith more than usual order N Thus the poetic imagination is a po*er of paramount importance to the creati'e artist :t is this po*er that helps Aords*orth to find beauty and significance in the simplest things pertaining to nature in the song of the cuc&oo# in the unadorned beauty of an early spring afternoon :n his assertion of man 'ersus society# of religion 'ersus rationalism# of heart 'ersus intellect# of nature 'ersus ci'ilisation .Aords*orth *as a romantic M no less so than =oleridge *ith his passionate interest in mystical e"perience and the supernatural The latter is# for =oleridge# a symbol of the comple"ity of human life# its painful contradictions# its dar& and unfathomable aspects Thus# the tragic @dyssey of the !ncient 0ariner# his fantastic ad'entures in the seas of e'erlasting ice and eternal tropics# his encounter *ith the spectreship and miraculous sal'ation are all symbols of states of mind# of crime# punishment and e"piation through repentance# prayer and lo'e :n their later years# after the bul& of their *or& *as done# both poets became# increasingly conser'ati'e in their religious and political 'ie*s and more rigid in their moral attitudes The political e'olution of the t*o poets *as closely paralleled by a mutual friend of theirs# $obert (outhey 5is talent# at its best in simple ballads# *as decidedly inferior to both Aords*orthLs and =oleridgeLs :f he is at all remembered no* it is chiefly for his lifelong intimacy *ith them !s time *ent on (outhey came to 'oice the official opinion of the Tory go'ernment

The greatest romantic poet of the elder generation *as Aalter (cott Though personally friendly to the >a&ists# he ne'er ;uite shared their literary tastes and affinities The author of a number of stylised imitations of old 6nglish and (cottish ballads and original epic poems dealing *ith the feudal past of his nati'e (cotland# it is as a no'elist and disco'erer of a ne* pro'ince of *riting that Aalter (cott *on his *orld reno*n 5is claim to a high ran& among the romantics mainly depends on his profound sense of history 5e *as one of the first to realise the dialectical nature of the relationship bet*een indi'idual and public life# of the interdependence of great historical characters and popular mo'ements and interests? *ith unerring acumen did he trace indi'idual and social psychology# no less than the influence of social facts and circumstances upon the actions of the rulers and the ruled 5is no'els struc& the reader (and still do so) *ith their epic ;uality# *ith his analysis of Nthe forces that go to ma&e a situation and lead indi'iduals to act as they do N N(cottLs Nromanticism#N <ettle proceeds to say# Nlies in his re4ection of the 18th century polite tradition and his attempt to *rite of and for far broader sections of the people N 5is art *as steeped in fol&lore# in ancient balladry# in the robust realism of Dielding and (mollett# in the grandeur of (ha&espeareLs historical chronicles Ahile dra*ing largely on a 'ast store of boo&. learning and pre'ious literary e"perience he inaugurated a ne* era in the history of the 6nglish no'el !mong the romantic poets of the younger generation (cott preferred %yron They *ere dra*n together by mutual admiration# personal and artistic ali&e# byS their concept of literature as ha'ing a straight message to gi'e humanity# and teach it a moral and political lesson >i&e (cott# %yron had a distinct feeling of the mo'ement of 5istory# of unceasing de'elopment# of huge forces shaping human li'es 8nli&e (cott# ho*e'er# *ho shared the >a&e poetsL distrust of political reorgani3ation of society and their disappro'al of re'olutionary methods# %yron# though sometimes sceptical about the results of a future re'olution# entertained no doubt *hate'er both about the ine'itability of re'olution and the moral and political necessity for any man to fight for it to the best of his abilities 5e too *as disappointed in the social aftermath of 1789 but he al*ays realised its liberating effect and its role in the future of man&ind %yronLs romanticism *as coloured by grief at sight of the corrupting and debasing influence of reaction and absolute po*er M and hopes of future regeneration? by adherence to the ideals of the great men of the age of $eason M and a sense that their theories *ere too single.minded# too facile to cope *ith the tragic conflicts of his o*n time Ket ne'er did %yron go so far as the elder poets in his negation of the theories of the 6nlightenment# and only ;uestioned the possibility of putting them soon into practice Ceither did he agree *ith the senior romanticsL disparagement of classicism# one of the leading literary styles of the !ge of 6nlightenment 5e bro&e most of its rules# but to the last he proclaimed it as the only path to truth# 'irtue and poetical e"cellence =lassicism *as to %yron# along *ith the ethical and political concepts of the 6nlightenment# an ideal that he 'ainly endea'oured to li'e up to himself and induce others to follo* >i&e all the romantics# %yron *as 'ery 'ersatile in his literary *or& :n poetry he tried e'ery possible genre# most unclassically Ndestroying the proper di'isions and barriers bet*een them 5e created lyric and epic poems (shot through and through *ith lyrical feeling)# dramas# both classical and romantic# political satires# 'erse tales# and# in prose# specimens of flaming oratory and fine epistolary art# as in his letters and 4ournals %yronLs hatred of social in4ustice# of e'ery type of oppression# his indignation at the suffering inflicted by man upon man# his sense of the conflicting *ishes# interests and passions tearing the

*orld asunder# the intensity of his satirical gift along *ith an ardent belief in self.sacrifice and heroism as the only *ay to pull man&ind out of all its troubles# the great philosophic ;uestions he raised though ne'er ga'e a final ans*er to# ma&ing his reader follo* him in his daring search for truth only to realise the impossibility of elementary dogmatic reading of the *orldLs riddles M all this ma&es of %yron the most forceful embodiment of that spirit of criticism# doubt and rebellion that characterises the romantic period of literature !nother great rebel among the romantics *as %yronLs friend (helley Aith him hatred of the abominations of a cruel and selfish class society reaches its clima" 5is denunciations of the ruthlessness of employers and the condition of the 6nglish *or&ing class# as for instance in (ueen Ma!$ ha'e an almost modern ring >i&e the other romantics# he *as fully a*are of the tragedy of the Drench $e'olution# but li&e %yron# he de'oted his life and poetry to the re'olution of the future that *ould not repeat the errors of 1789# and *ould culminate in a triumph of uni'ersal gladness and lo'e (helley *as the only romantic to realise that liberty could not be *on *ithout the enthusiasm of the *or&ing men of 6ngland# and he called upon them to rise against their oppressors (helleyLs outloo& *as# not unli&e =oleridgeLs# strongly influenced by contemporary idealistic thought and by his early assimilation of the philosophy of 7lato# the great idealist of ancient Ereece :dealism *as# as <arl 0ar" pointed out# a natural stage in the de'elopment of modern philosophy on its *ay from mechanical# metaphysical systems created in the 18th century M to dialectical materialism (helleyLs idealism *as inconsistently blended *ith materialistic tendencies inherited from the philosophers of the 6nlightenment *hom he ne'er ceased to admire 5e *ished to assert the predominance and acti'ity of the spirit so as to emphasise the paramount importance of ideas in the great struggle for the liberation of humanity 5e pinned his hopes on persuasion# education and altruism as the great instruments of good but ad'ocated the necessity of putting up a fight for the right cause (helley *as romantic in his resolute brea& *ith literary tradition# in creating ne* imagery and rhythms# in dra*ing the inner *orld of man as part of the infinity of the 8ni'erse 5is poetic style is highly metaphorical# often symbolical# in an effort to render daring 'isions of great catastrophes and great 'ictories# of a glorious future for man&ind The comple"ity and no'elty of his imagery *ere so much ahead of his time that he *as understood by 'ery fe* readers :n this he *as a&in to his younger contemporary Iohn <eats# *hose poetry *as a po*erful embodiment of the romantic idea of freedom# lo'e and beauty as opposed to the 'ulgarity and prosiness of bourgeois ci'ilisation >i&e (helley# <eats li'ed in a poetic *orld of his o*n imagination# but though he hated tyranny and oppression# both of =hurch and Eo'ernment# he seldom let his politics interfere *ith his poetry 5is ambition *as to influence men solely by the po*er of beauty# not by a direct appeal to their 'ie*s <eatsLs often repeated speculations on beauty as the true source of happiness and moral freedom no less than the sub4ect.matter of his poems dealing *ith mythological or medie'al themes# his detachment from the burning issues of the day resulted in his poetry being inPterpreted as# the e"pression of a &ind of aestheticism :t *as only about a hundred years after his death that his *or& came to be understood as part of the humanitarian romantic protest against the sordidness of contemporary society# against the shallo*.ness and tri'iality of accepted art N: find there is no *orthy pursuit but the idea of doing some good for the *orld#N <eats *rote in one of his letters# Nthere is but one *ay for me M the *ay lies through application#

study and thought N T : am ne'er alone *ithout re4oicing that there is such a thing as death M *ithout placing my ultimate in the glory of dying for a great human purpose N (helley and <eats *ere not recognised in their o*n times They *ere considered inferior not only to %yron and (cott but also to a far lesser poet# Thomas 0oore# the author of the musical and intensely emotional Irish Melodies bearing upon the national misfortunes of oppressed :reland :n his romantic poems on the 6ast# in his satirical )a!les 0oore too& up some of the most popular topics of his day The easy flo* of his 'erse# his pleasing sentimentality and the 'i'idness of the colouring he thre* on all he described and particularly his musicality charmed the general readerQ and *on him many admirers The prose of 6nglish romanticism is to be studied in the *or&s of the essayists Thomas 9e Quincey# =harles >amb# Ailliam 5a3litt# >eigh 5unt Ahile differing in politics# religion and philosophy# all of them in their 'arious *ays contributed to*ards the birth and gro*th of the lyrical romantic essay *hose main function *as neither informati'e nor ob4ecti'ely descripti'e but rather a sub4ecti'e re'elation of the authorsL state of mind# their attitudes and idiosyncrasies 6motional and imaginati'e interpretation of facts (and not facts for their o*n sa&e) *as the chief purPpose of the romantic essayists Thomas 9e Quincey# a *arm admirer and close assoPciate of the >a&e poets# also *rote his *orld.famous story Confessions of an En*lish pium+Eater *hich struc& the reader by the persistent personal note of its a'o*al of *ea&ness# distress and of the triumph of poetical inspiration o'er the miseries of actual e"istence The other essayists formed a more or less close group of friends doing 4oint *or& in publishing and *riting for critical and non.conformist literary periodicals :n their ardent championship of radical political change (thence the term NradicalsN as opposed to the leading parliamentary parties Tories and Ahigs# after 183H =onser'ati'es and >iberals respecti'ely)# in their romantic theory of poetry as defying uni'ersally accepted social# ethical and aesthetical standards >amb# 5a3litt and 5unt *ere the immediate allies and# in a *ay# the mentors and instructors of Iohn <eats !ll of them *ere stigmati3ed by Tory re'ie*ers as the =oc&ney (a =oc&ney is strictly spea&ing anybody li'ing in the heart of >ondon *ithin the sound of the bells of the (t 0ary.le. %o* =hurch :n a *ider sense a =oc&ney is an ignorant# uneducated person spea&ing *ith the specific accent of lo*er.class >ondoners The re'ie*ers applied it to <eats and his friends as a disparaging term# intimating that they *ere not NgentlemenN either in life or letters) school of poetry and criticism :t *as a broad hint at their NplebeianN origins# at their literary radicalism scorning the rigid rules of classicism# at the Nlo*N sub4ects of their essays on life in >ondon The essays of the =oc&neys# and those of 9e Quincey# constituted *hat the critics called the Nprose form of 6nglish romanticismN !t the same time along *ith the high flo*ering of romantic poetry and prose the older traditions of realism *ere ne'er discontinued Aith Eeorge =rabbe in poetry# *ith Danny %urney# 0aria 6dge*orth and Iane !usten in prose# realism steadfastly stood its ground =rabbeLs narrati'e poems# Nthe annals of the poorN as he 4ustly called them# ga'e a memorable presentation of the degradation of country fol& under the stress of *ant and dreary hard *or& Aith the'elists mentioned abo'e literature mo'ed in more fashionable circles @f these the art of Iane !usten is the most consummate and therefore representati'e Through the 'ery narro* social milieu (land.o*ners# gentry# country clergy) that constitutes the theme of her no'els# Iane !usten succeeded in bringing home the essence of the social relationships of her time Aith unfailing accuracy does she dra* a small *orld possessed by a yearning for money

and high social standing# and depri'ed of either# *ish or capacity for using other criteria in their 4udgement o'er men and *omen but those of fortune and ran& Aith a touch at once delicate and sure !usten introduces a 'ast 'ariety of characters *hose mentality is more or less distorted by false moral and social standards 5er irony and humour are omniscient and e'er at the ser'ice of her &een critical insight# of her shre*d utterly unsentimental comprehension of the moti'es underlying the actions and feelings of a 'ain# selfish and mercenary society :t is the fe* persons *ho are comparati'ely unscathed by these shallo* and ugly moti'es that !usten ma&es her heroines !lmost none of them are 4ust born *ise and 'irtuous The most con'incing of them are those *ho li&e 6mma Aoodhouse or !nne 6lliott ha'e to pass through a moral ordeal before they find that the only thing that really matters is the true *orth of man and *oman# his or her gift for disinterested affection# loyalty and generosity Iane !ustenLs ethics are high and strict but they are ne'er obtruded upon the reader 5er methods are mostly indirect The authorial 'oice is disguised by ob4ecti'e presentation of dialogue# inner monologue (reported speech)# as *ell as of the charactersL actions and reactions The Ninimitable IaneN is *armly admired and much studied in t*entieth century 6ngland and !merica !lthough !usten stands aloof from the romantic trends of her o*n time and moc&s some of their more ob'ious and salient characteristics# although she is a follo*er of 18th century realistic traditions# yet her artistic detachment and her dispassionate sur'ey of her contemporaries could only ha'e been born out of the same critical and humanitarian spirit and the same historicism that ga'e birth to the romantic mo'ement ! sort of reduced and imitati'e romanticism is to be detected in the *or& of 6d*ard %ul*er >ytton 5e modelled his early *or&s on %yronLs and (cottLs and later on the realistic no'els of the Lforties and Lfifties 5ardly e'er original# %ul*er >ytton *as a true and refined mirror of succeeding literary and philosophical fashions To%ards the end of the &'()*s the conc$usion of the industria$ re+o$ution a$on, %ith its natura$ i-.$ications the rise of a .o%erfu$ -anufacturin, and tradin, c$ass and at the sa-e ti-e the radica$ a,itation for .o$itica$ chan,e cu$-inated in the Par$ia-entar/ refor- of &'0(1 It %as carried in the teeth of a stout opposition on the part of the Tory party :ts effect *as a far better representation of the middle class in 7arliament The lo*er classes# ho*e'er# *ere still &ept out of 7arliament by a high property ;ualification for members The political 'ictory of the bourgeoisie brought no relief to the *or&ing class and e'entually considerably *ea&ened its condition Ce*ly gained political po*er enabled employers to introduce ne* methods of e"ploitation Thus# *ith a 'ie* of enlarging the number of *or&ers at mills and factories and reducing the number of the poor *ho obtained relief *ithin their parishes and *ere under no immediate necessity to sell their labour to mill.o*ners ne* 7oor >a*s *ere passed by 7arliament !ccording to these relief *as granted to the poor only in special *or&houses *here they *ere sub4ected to harsh treatment# practically little better than in prison# and *ere made to *or& for their food The disappointment of the *or&ing class in reform# and acute social distress led to the organised mo'ement &no*n under the name of =hartism The oppressed classes demanded a further and more democratic reform of 7arliament They entertained the hope that ade;uately represented# they could radically impro'e their o*n condition =hartist agitation# mass meetings# stri&es and

uprisings *ent on# intermittently# for more than ten years# from the later thirties all through the Nhungry fortiesN The mo'ement subsided after an impro'ement in economic condition and after the 6nglish bourgeoisie *isely decided to a'oid re'olution by conceding the most urgent demands of the =hartists =hartism had important literary results in the de'elopment of popular poetry Cot only did the =hartists re'i'e the re'olutionary poems of %yron and (helley (*hose Son* to the Men of En*land became a =hartist but *ithin a short time a ne* poetry sprang up 'oicing the aspiration of those *ho had as yet not succeeded in ma&ing themsel'es heard %esides a considerable amount of anonymous songs and poems# there *ere poets of distinction among the organised fighters for *or&ersL rights @f these Eerald 0assey# Thomas =ooper# Ailliam Iames >inton and especially 6rnest Iones probably ran&ed highest ! militant spirit of resistance# sarcasm and irony# pathos and rhetorics# strong rhythms and sonorous rhymes go together to gi'e the =hartist poetry a peculiar 'igour The =hartists also *rote a fe* good no'els (6rnest Iones# Thomas 0artin Aheeler) and published some literary criticism de'oted to those they loo&ed upon as the early prophets of re'olution The *or& of =hartist poets *as deliberately neglected by bourgeois scholars? the =hartist periodicals (e g # The ,orthern Star- *herein most of that *or& *as published ha'e long been out of print and ha'e been properly studied only in this country The =hartistsL passionate concern for the cause of the suffering 6nglish people inspired poets *ho *ere not in any direct *ay associated *ith =hartism 6li3abeth %arrett %ro*ningLs much anthologi3ed Cry of Children$ Thomas 5oodLs no less famous Son* of the Shirt and The Brid*e of Si*hs plead for human &indness and altruism# for sympathy *ith the hardships of the poor U:t *as in the period of political strife# *hen social problems came to the fore and re'ealed their prosaic# material nature# that ne* trends *ere born in literature 7reoccupation *ith public life# a sense of the paramount importance of things social# of the necessity of loo&ing into the *ay things are and to describe them faithfully so as to redress or at least palliate the e'ils of a cruel industrial system *ere the forces that stimulated the gro*th of realism $omanticism no* seemed too abstract# too aloof# too much relying upon symbolic or fantastic presentation of actuality :t had done its *or& and played its role? the time had come *hen the mysterious po*ers ruling the ne* era that the romantics had anticipated stood much more clearly re'ealed ! direct and straightfor*ard consideration of e'eryday life became an imperati'e necessity !t first realistic prose too& the shape of short essays# more ob4ecti'e# informati'e and descripti'e than the romantic essay had been# and yet certainly bearing some affinities *ith it Cor *as this the only debt mid.nineteenth century realism o*ed to its romantic predecessors Aithout their shattering social criticism (e'en if couched in some*hat abstract terms and imagery)# *ithout their repudiation of classicist regulations of literature# *ithout their minute attenPtion to the indi'idual and particular# *ithout their psychological disco'eries and insight into the inner life of man# realism could not ha'e come into being The greatest realist of 6ngland =harles 9ic&ens certainly learned much from romantic *riters :n his early essays the influence of the >ondon essays of =harles >amb and >eigh 5unt can easily be traced# though 9ic&ens is more true to the typical detail# to social fact# to ob4ecti'e obser'ation of the habits and customs of the poor inhabitants of 6uropeLs richest capital

:n each of his earlier no'els *ritten in the thirties 9ic&ens de'oted his efforts to stri&ing at some ob'ious social e'il and helping to remo'e it :n the "ic./ic. "apers$ e g # he laughed to scorn the clumsy comedy of 7arliamentary elections# of the 6nglish court of la* and the ini;uities of >ondonLs prisons (a sub4ect he *as later to ta&e up on a much *ider scale in Blea. House-& :n li#er T/ist he treated the burning issues of the day M the horrors of *or&houses and of crime? in ,icholas ,ic.le!y M the conditions of Kor&shire boarding schools# etc :n these early no'els it is plain that 9ic&ens *as yet ;uite hopeful about the future of his country and confidently loo&ed for*ard to happier days The *rongs he stigmati3ed are but episodes in his no'els and do not become central in their plotting The Lforties *ere a sort of transitional period in his career To*ards the end he emerged as a mature artist *ith such fine generalisations of the mental attiPtudes of the bourgeois as in 0om!ey and Son and in the partly autobiographical 0a#id Copperfield& 9ic&ensLs greatest masterpieces# the sad and *ise no'els of the fifties# differed from his earlier 'entures in scope and structure :n Little 0orrit and in Blea. House the no'elistLs satire rises abo'e the parPticular and incidental and is transformed into a s*eeping indictment of the *hole system# of the 'ery foundations 6nglish society rests.upon :n Blea. House the 6nglish la* is no longer an episode as in the "ic./ic. "apers but dominates the *hole strucPture of the epic? so does the criticism of go'ernment in Little 0orrit *hen compared *ith similar pieces of criticism in the earlier no'els (ocial satire does not e"ist apart from the plot (as# say# in li#er T/ist- but permeates the *hole atmosphere of the no'el# shapes the plot and the relationship bet*een the characters# ma4or and minor ali&e ! sense of tragic unity underlies the 'ast concept of these boo&s %ut by the end of the Lfifties 9ic&ensLs inspiration had 'ery nearly e"hausted itself 9espite some 'ery fine pages of description and character.dra*ing his last no'els lac& the rich humour and fancy of his earlier *or&s 9ic&ens is not remar&able for circumstantial moti'ation of his heroesL actions %ut he e"cels in the art of catching their more ob'ious social characteristics and gi'ing them an infinite 'ariety of indi'idual shapes and forms that *ere 4oyously acclaimed as recognisable and memorable types To the end of his days 9ic&ens li&ed no literary compliments better than that or the other readerLs admission he or she had &no*n somebody *ho *as the spit of one of the no'elistLs characters Through grotes;ue and comical e"aggeration the fundamental realism of 9ic&PensLs 'ie*point *as e'ery*here apparent The authorLs o*n attitude stands clearly# re'ealed 5e hates e'ery species of oppression and in4ustice# e'ery 'estige of fraudulent misrepresentation and hypocrisy# e'ery sight of manLs cruelty to man# and lo'es all *ho suffer and still do not lose heart and &eep on doing their best by all around them 9ic&ensLs lo'e of humanity and his penetrati'e portrayal of *hat is best and noblest about it# no less than of its foibles# his persistent championPship of the inherent goodness of common man e'er opposed to the stiffness and class egoism of the higher classes ma&e him a central figure in the democratic literature of 6ngland 5is stature can be properly appreciated *hen his *or& is compared to that of such minor *riters as =harles <ingsley# the author of popular no'els on the conPdition and dramatic struggle of the =hartist *or&ers 12east$ Alton Loc.e-& 9ic&ensLs *or&s contain a *ider 'ie* of man and his problems# a broader and more humane outloo& and the art of hitting off types that alternately set all 6ngland laughing and sobbing 5e also compares *ell *ith his friend Ail&ie =ollins# the author of famous semi.detecti'e# no'els such as The 3oman in 3hite$ ,o ,ame$

The Moonstone$ etc Though 9ic&ens# too# introduced elements of the detecti'e story into his later *or& he al*ays submitted the suspense and thrill of the plot to the message of his no'el Aith =ollins specific detecti'e interest often came first 9ic&ensLs closest follo*er and admirer *as 6li3abeth Eas&ell :n his turn he *as delighted *ith her boo&s and published them in the literary maga3ines that he directed Mary Barton$ a simple and artless story of the misery and stout resistance of 6nglish =hartist *or&ers appealed to 9ic&ens both for its strict 'eracity and for its sentimental and idealistic sermon of lo'e as the only remedy in a society endanPgered by the cancer of economic egoism and cynical indifference Quite different in style and treatment is the gay comedy of pro'incial life in the*n of =ranford Eas&ellLs humour is delicate# sensiti'e# and gently ridicules the petty snobbery and pre4udices of superannuated middle.class ladies 5er latest boo&s deal *ith serious problems of domestic life and are fine studies of the mentality of *omen 0rs Eas&ell is also the author of a subtle biography of three lady.*riters of her o*n time# the sisters =harlotte# 6mily# and !nne %ronte# all of *hom died of consumption *hen still young !nne *as the least remar&able of the three? =harlotte *on the greatest recognition# but it *as 6mily *hose talent both for poetry and prose *as the most po*erful and original 5er only no'el 3utherin* Hei*hts *as published posthumously and is an e"traordinary blend of %yronic romantic indi'idualism and realistic moti'ation The tragedy of t*o lo'ers torn asunder by difference in pecuniary and social standing and complicated by ambition and 'anity is dra*n against a perfectly real *orld of sordid po'erty and greed The *ithering influence of trampled lo'e distorts the characters both of hero and heroine# turning the one into a demonic sadist and the other into a capricious spoiled *oman The drama of lo'e and death gains in intensity by being rendered through the eyes of a casual obser'er and a minor character# M an old ser'ant# only indirectly particiPpating in the e'ents she narrates The blea& colouring of the story is heightPened by the natural bac&ground M 'ast moors# *ind.blo*n hills and stone.grey s&ies ! note of mysticism also rings in the no'el# indicati'e of 6mily %ronteLs religious feeling and her interest in the irrational aspects of life 6mily died at the age of thirty# and =harlotte sur'i'ed her but for a fe* years 5er art had more ob'ious ties *ith ordinary life and easier reached the audience M and a *ider one# at that The most popular by far *as Jane Eyre$ the story of a poor go'erness *ho by sheer force of personality *on a decisi'e 'ictory in the fierce battle she had to fight for lo'e and happiness The dar& %yronic nature of IaneLs Ndemon lo'erN# the gruesome mystery of his house# the final catastrophe are all depicted in the star& melodramatic tones peculiar to the late 18th century Eothic no'el %ut borro*ed romantic and preromantic motifs are de'eloped along *ith entirely origiPnal realistic delineation of the radical in4ustice of a life dominated by all that is not essential# as money and high connections# and lea'ing out and crushing all that is fundamental M true moral *orth# loyalty and intellect %ronteLs horror.struc& realisation of the inhumanity of the relationship bet*een employers and employed appears to the greatest ad'antage in Shirley *here scenes introducing star'ing *or&ers *ho brea& the machinery that threatens to supplant their labour mingle *ith a fine social and psychological analysis of the plight of VAomen in a men.ruled *orld :n all of =harlotte %ronteLs no'els there is a note ofU true# uncon'entional passion (and a penetrati'e analysis of that passion) that shoc&ed the hypocritical morality of the Victorian bourgeoisie (NVictorianN *as a much used M and abused M term denoting the self.satisfied priggish and smug mentality of the upper and middle classes during the greater part of the reign of Queen VictoPria M 1837M1901)

=harlotte %ronte *as in some *ays a disciple of 9ic&ensLs greatest ri'al# AilPliam 0a&epeace Thac&eray 5e set out courageously to teach the 6nglish a harsh lesson in self.appraisal 5e let them see themsel'es *ith se'erely critical eyes# and not through the rose.coloured glasses of complacency ! parallel has often been dra*n bet*een 9ic&ens and Thac&eray# sometimes to the ad'antage of the one# sometimes of the other They are# indeed# 'ery different in outloo& and artistic method# in education and bac&ground The essential thing they ha'e in common# ho*e'er# is their fundamental honesty in carrying out *hat they concei'e to be their moral obligation to*ards their fello*.men They both sa* themsel'es as in duty bound to tell their readers the unpalatable truth about the social *rongs *ringing the body of society# about its narro* and shallo* standards# about the hypocritical greed and ruthlessness of the higher classes Thac&eray mostly used the *eapon of sharp irony? in describing the 'ices of the 'ery high he hardly e'er had recourse to 9ic&ensLs grotes;ue e"aggeration# to his humourous presentation of 'ariously coloured and comically indi'idualised figures Thac&eray *as an e"cellent caricaturist (he illustrated some of his o*n *or&s)# but his caricatures are less particularised and more generalised than 9ic&ensLs The latter *as ob'iously ;uite 4udicious in re4ecting Thac&erayLs offer to supply pictures to the "ic./ic. "apers M their *ays *ere too different This *as distinctly felt by both *riters Thac&eray thought that 9ic&ens *as too much gi'en to melodrama and pathos# that his characters *ere too often angels or de'ils# *ith 'ery fe* lin&s bet*een them Thac&erayLs literary apprenticeship *as as long and painsta&ing as 9ic&ensLs had been short and brilliant >i&e 9ic&ens# he *ent to school to eighteenth century masters# especially Dielding (9ic&ensLs fa'ourite *as (mollett)# but unli&e 9ic&ens# he *as also influenced by 6uropean *riters %al3acLs Human Comedy$ in particular# taught him the de'ice of introducPing the same characters in different no'els and thus gi'ing them time for gro*th and de'elopment @f Thac&erayLs earlier *or& the most important *as# probably# a collection of s&etches entitled The Boo. of Sno!s& 5e deri'ed the *ord NsnobN from studentsW slang and it is through him that it ac;uired first a national and then an internationPal significance Thac&erayLs definition of it *as that Na snob is one *ho meanly loo&s up to things meanN ! snob fa*ns upon his social superiors and is contemptuPously haughty to inferiors ! snob# finally# is one *ho has no criteria to 4udge of others but the degree of their *ealth and ran& 5a'ing classified the snobs of 6ngland according to their profession and social standing# ha'ing made it clear that at court# church# shops# uni'ersities and in the *al&s of art snobs *ere e'er essentially the same# Thac&eray *as ready to *rite his greatest *or& 4anity )air& The title *as an allusion# ;uite familiar in those days# to the city of >ondon *hich had been described as Vanity Dair in the famous 17th century religious allegory of Iohn %unyan 1The "il*rim5s "ro*ress$ 1278) %y referring thus to the heart of 6ngland Thac&eray also played on the ine'itable association *ith the boo& of the %ible called 6cclesiastes *hose memorable and often reiterated *ords areO !ll is 'anity# sayeth the 7reacher The no'el follo*s the fates of t*o middle.class girls @ne of them# !melia (edley# the daughter of a *ealthy merchant# goes do*n in the *orld as her father is ruined in the course of the Drench *ars %y the end of the boo& she is restored to respectaPbility by a second marriage and a timely legacy The other# $ebecca or %ec&y (harp# is a cle'er ad'enturess# a genteel 19th century 0oll Dlanders The ups and do*ns of her career and final defeat are handled *ith ironical scorn# lashing not so much at %ec&yLs tireless ruses and stratagems as at the society that encourages her and ma&es it possible for her to *in many 'ictories before she has to accept her do*nfall Aith Thac&eray neither of the t*o heroines is painted in blac& and *hite 5e has a sort of amused

sympathy *ith the 'icissitudes of %ec&yLs life and much pity and little respect for !meliaLs sentimental silliness 5is main sub4ect is the false heartless *ays and the resourceful hypocrisy of society# the silent misery of simple souls Thac&eray satirises the 'ictims of ine;ualPity and snobbishness The story of a gifted young man 'ery nearly corrupted by the *orld of fashion and sa'ed at the ele'enth hour from disgrace and crime is told in The History of "endennis& :ts se;uel The ,e/comes$ a chronicle of a fe* generations of a rich upper middle.class family# is narrated by a sadder and *iser 7endennis# no* firm on the path of 'irtue# authorship and domestic felicity Thac&erayLs hisPtorical no'els# particularly Henry Esmond *here the action is laid at the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century# are realistic boo&s that do not treat history as the story of &ings# generals and courtiers but as the history of a *hole people# *ith an eye to culture# literature# morality and general condition of the nation Aars are not described as glamorous# heroic and *orthy of enthusiastic admiration They are dra*n in all the ugliness of hatred# of atrocities inflicted in cold blood and resulting in unheard.of suffering for thousands upon thousands of innocent people Thac&eray distinctly says he cares nothing for big *igs# but only for the small fry ! historical no'el# he maintained# should content itself *ith findPing out ho* great e'ents affect ordinary people (in 4anity )air$ too# he had described the battle of Aaterloo only in so far as it *rec&ed the life of his heroine) The staunch realism of 9ic&ens and Thac&eray# of Eas&ell and the %ronte.sisters did a great deal to e"plain their times and to e"plode the myth of Victorian prosperity that bourgeois historians li&e X Y 0acaulay had done their best to perPpetuate %y the Lfifties and Lsi"ties the *orst period in the e'olution of classical capiPtalism in 6ngland *as o'er This is not to say# ho*e'er# that progress *as as uniP'ersal as official opinion had it The condition of the *or& *as still prePcarious# a e"istence being the lot of the ma4ority# *ith only the minority of ;ualified *or&ers finding themsel'es comparati'ely *ell off T*o more parliamentary reforms *ere needed before the labouring classes *ere at all represented in the 5ouse of =ommons 6nglish industry and trade and 6nglish finance *ere the most po*erful in the *orld and the bourgeoisie *as cautious enough to see to it that the economic status of those *ho made them rich should not sin& to the star'ation *ages of the 1810Ls %ut the disproportion bet*een the situation of the classes *as more glaring than e'er :t *as in the fifties that 9ic&ens *rote the boo&s that *ere most seriously critical of the *hole order of thingsO it *as in the fifties that scientists and scholars began to ;uestion religious dogmas and ready.made ethical formulae1 The rapid de'elopment of natural sciences (geology# biology# embryology# psychology)# 9ar*inLs ri*in of Species undermined the current bePliefs and pa'ed the ground to scepticism and non.conformism The ad'anced men of the L20Ls and 70Ls called themsel'es free.thin&ers They rebelled against the narro* bourgeois ideology# they moc&ed the ne* spirit of militant national pride gro*ing along *ith 6nglandLs colonial e"pansion# they *ere full of concern for a ne* and efficient rationalisation of public and pri'ate life :n philosophy they supported rather mechanistic materialistic ideas? they dre* crude parallels bet*een biological and social processes? they preached a ne* moralPity *hose foundation no longer *as religious but utilitarian# i e the concept of Nthe greatest happiness for the greatest number of peopleN (This concept *as# ho*Pe'er# gi'en an entirely bourgeois interpretation# since the Ngreatest happinessN implied uninterrupted de'elopment of capitalist production ) The most important ideologist of this ne* trend *as 5erbert (pencer 5e endea'oured to create an

all.embracing system of sociology# philosophy and psychology and to ta&e care that it should rest only on positi'e &no*ledge and facts and disregard all abstract speculation (7osiPti'ism is the name fre;uently gi'en to that school of thought M a term borro*ed from the Drench philosophy of !uguste =omte *ho e"ercised a great influence on his later 6nglish colleagues) 7ositi'ist *ays of thin&ing left a profound impression on the *or& of Eeorge 6liot ! lady of great learning# she *as deeply read in 6uropean philosophy and in the latest critical *ritings (he early stood up against orthodo" religiosity (he admired and translated Deuerbach# *as friendly *ith 5erbert (pencer and other scholars and scientists of his group @n the one hand# positi'e philosophy *as of some use in gi'ing theoretical support to 6liotLs notions both of society and of its ideas? on the other hand# it narro*ed her 'ision and scope and fre;uently led to the *riterLs incorporating her doctrines in no'els# generally to the lettersL detriment Eeorge 6liot *as a social no'elist and one *ho too& her duties to her readers seriously (he lac&ed 9ic&ensLs sense of the dramatic contrast bet*een rich and poor# she *as rather inclined to accept them in a positi'ist spirit# as something that should be ta&en for granted and only sub4ected to cautious reform There is no defiPance# no open rebellion in her boo&s !nd yet their true and honest tale of the drab monotony and in4ustice of life# of the daily crime of indifference of man to man is in its *ay enough to ma&e her readers realise a great many things they had preP'iously left unnoticed :n *riting# as 6liot mostly did# about humble country fol&# and setting them far higher than their Nelders and bettersN# the no'elist added her mite to*ards educating public opinion and securing the democratic rights of those she glorified in her boo&s# as Adam Bede$ the 4oiner# or Silas Marner$ the *ea'er (9ic&ens himself# fine as his popular characters *ere# did not call his no'els Samuel 3elter or Mar. Tapley$ but the "ic./ic. "apers and Martin Chu66le/it& Ahate'er he did# the hero had to be a gentleman) 6liotLs best &no*n no'el is The Mill on the )loss& >argely autobiographical# it is a searching analysis of the heroineLs inner life# of the forces that 4oined to ma&e her an outcast in the petty. bourgeois community she belonged to The no'elistLs portrayal of the selfishness and callousness of self.satisfied mediocrity has a lasting 'alue This is also true of Eeorge 6liotLs most ambitious boo& Middlemarch Ma bold endea'our of ta&ing the *hole of a typical 6nglish pro'incial to*n for her sub4ect and depicting its representati'e figures so as to achie'e a sort of a cross.section of the most important elements of the pre'alent social psychology# of the influence of en'ironment and heredity on the shaping of the indi'idual mind The political problems of 6ngland are treated in )elix Holt the 7adical$ an early specimen of *hat later in the H0th century came to be called Na no'el of ideasN :n some of 6liotLs no'els (partly e'en in The Mill on the )loss- the discussion of intellectual problems and the too ob'ious embodiment of abstract ideas into characters pro'es detrimental to art and testifies to the un*holesome influence of preconcei'ed phiPlosophical notions This criticism also applies to the *or& of Eeorge 0eredith# a poet and no'elist *hose boo&s mar&ed an important stage in the de'elopment of the psychological no'el in the late 19th century 5is art is comple"# being an imperfect blend of subtle psychologism shot through and through by the critical and scientific tendPencies of the period and of a some*hat laboured and o'er.ornamented impressionism in style and language ! consistent upholder of e'olution as the central la* domiPnating nature no less than society# 0eredith regarded the destiny of man as follo*Ping and illustrating uni'ersal la*s 5is first no'el of importance# The rdeal of 7ichard )e#erel$ considers life as a painful process of gradual maturing of intellect and emotion# the

heroLs natural de'elopment being th*arted by the artificial and snobbish system of education introduced by his aristocratic father :nterference *ith natural la* has disastrous conse;uences for the life and happiness of $ichard and those he holds dear The pre4udices and narro*.minded arrogance of the pri'iPleged is ironically laid bare in 0eredithLs best &no*n no'el The E*oist& ! scientiPfically refined psychological interpretation of (ir Ailloughby 7atterneLs feelings e"poses to ridicule and scorn his upper class belief in his o*n impeccability and in the absolute moral 'alue of his o*n 4udgement The contrast bet*een the immenPsity of pretension and the actual lac& of anything to 4ustify it is at once comical and instructi'e %y ma&ing the egoist Ailloughby undergo a humiliating defeat at the hands of an ine"perienced girl# strong.minded enough to defend the right to dispose of her o*n self in lo'e and marriage# 0eredith moc&s the o'er*eening pride of the upper class and lets the reader see it in its true proportions ! radical in his political 'ie*s# he traced *ith *arm sympathy the thorny progress of a rebel against a false and hollo* society in Beauchamp5s Career& 0eredithLs o'er.elaborate and sometimes *ay*ard style *ith his resolute prePference for the rarely used *ord and ;uaint metaphor made it ne"t to impossible for him to please the general reader (ubse;uent generations ha'e# so far# not re'ersed the 4udgment of the *riterLs o*n contemporaries The some*hat hea'y intellectuPality# the abstract philosophising 0eredith often indulges in demanding a strain and an effort on the readersL part that only the literary minority are prepared to ma&e The ma4ority decidedly preferred to s&ip the pages of Ail&ie =ollinsLs sensational thrillers and !nthony TrollopeLs circumstantial comfortable tales of pro'incial life *ith commonplace people doing commonplace things and arri'ing at a timely happy end TrollopeLs *ere the most gifted and of numerous Victorian bestPsellers The greatest contributor to the literature *hose principal purpose *as to di'ert and amuse the reader *as !rthur =onan 9oyle 5is stories of the ad'entures of the master detecti'e (herloc& 5olmes fascinated 6ngland# and the name of the hero became a household *ord 0ean*hile the more serious literary *or& of the period *as affected by modern schools of thought The ideas of positi'e philosophy also found their *ay into poetry *here# ho*e'er# they curiously and 'ariously combined *ith elements of the romantic tradition# ne'er ;uite e"tinct in 6ngland until the close of the century :n this sense the art of Tennyson can be called transitional# in its endea'our to blend roPmantic soaring abo'e the commonplace and a romantic treatment of the commonPplace M *ith problems strictly belonging to the epoch and necessarily touched *ith its prose :n his first poetical 'entures Tennyson e"cells in *ord.painting# in melody and euphony 5is themes are fre;uently borro*ed from an idealised past (comprisPing medie'al 6ngland and classical anti;uity) and from scenes :n his poem The "rincess$ for e"ample# a fantastic setting is used to inculcate modern ideas of female emancipation and learning Tennyson is at his best in lyrical poetry# e'er fresh *ith spontaneous feeling# *ith admiration and understanding of e'erything that is lo'ely in the life of nature and the heart 8nfortunately# Tennyson early began to entertain the belief that his *as the tas& of teaching his o*n generation# and those to follo*# a ne* outloo&# a ne* lesson of morality# and the didactic purpose he set to himself# mostly rather specifically Victorian# too& a great deal a*ay from the immediate charm of his lyrical impulse Thus# the beautiful lyrics collected in In Memoriam are rather hea'ily o'erlaid *ith platitudes of modern moral philosophy :n the poem of Maud there is an abrupt# poetically and logically uncalled for transition from a 'iolent curse of the modern 0oney.Eod#

from glorification of true lo'e as the only thing untainted in a *orld of 'ulgar material interests M on to 4ubilant praise of *ar and con;uest in the final section of the poem :n TennysonLs Idylls of the 8in* the romance of the 0iddle !ges centered upon the legendary <ing !rthur and his $ound Table is pac&ed till bursting point *ith purely modern moralising# *ith intellectual problems peculiarly midnineteenth century :t has been aptly remar&ed by one of the contemporary re'ie*ers that to associate these *ith the life of a rude age produces the same effect as to combine a manLs head# a horseLs nec&# a *omanLs body# and a fishLs tail <ing !rthur is less of a true &night than a modern gentleman *hose *ildest deeds of daring are done on the 6"change and *hose most deadly ;uarrels are settled in the =ourt of QueenLs %ench TennysonLs musical and pictorial art is sufficient for lyrics# most remembered for imaginati'e symbolic descriptions of states of mind# and sometimes also for his popular idylls M studies of simple hearts in the Aords*orthian tradition# M but it hardly e'er sees him through his longer poems necessitating a *ider and more philosophical thin&ing TennysonLs importance for the poetry of his age *as# for most of later 19th and H0th century critics# eclipsed by that of %ro*ning 6ndo*ed *ith a robust intellect and a solid education he *as abreast of the ad'anced liberal thought of his time 5is interest in moral and political problems# in the freedom of peoples and indi'iduals# in passions and ideas characteristic of past and present lent a bright open.eyed 'itality as *ell as a breadth and depth to his artistic 'ision that Tennyson manifestly lac&s Ahile certainly not a rebel from the main body of Victorian beliefs %ro*ning ;uestioned enough of their assumptions to hold an indi'idualistic attitude that pro'ed his intellectual courage Drom modern biological theories %ro*ning dre* &no*ledge that helped him to attempt a detailed psychological moti'ation of his charactersL emotions Drom this point of 'ie* t*o of his greater *or&s are of the &eenest interest @ne is his early dramatic poem of "aracelsus$ a 17th century Daust# bent on disco'ering the secret spring of all &no*ledge and becoming a benefactor of man&ind The other is one of his final achie'ements# the poem of The 7in* and the Boo.& The same e'ent# the dastardly murder of a 17.year.old *oman by her highly connected husband is the sub4ect of t*el'e long narrati'es# analysing the comple" moti'es and reactions of all the participants# *itnesses# and 4udges of the drama %ro*ningLs most memoPrable contribution is probably his dramatic lyrics# a large number of 'arious monoPlogues that the poet puts on the lips of characters belonging each to a different epoch# country# class# culture# religion The art of spea&ing for an astounding 'ariety of dramatic characters and ma&ing their speech sound psychologically true# has *on uni'ersal admiration %ro*ningLs style struc& the readers *ith its 'igorous indePpendence of all set models and the rich comple"ity of 'ocabulary and imagery Ahile criticising his age from the standpoint of humane and democratic ideals# %ro*ning ne'ertheless *as a man of his o*n time and shared its social optimism To*ards the'enties and more mar&edly so to*ards the Leighties a crisis of Victorian 6ngland began to ma&e itself felt There *ere the first *arning symptoms of decay in 6nglish economics? there *as a general mo'e to*ards political reaction? a *a'e of chau'inistic imperialism rose high? %ritish colonial po*er *as greater than e'er# Queen Victoria *as proclaimed empress of :ndia# and the grandeur of the %ritish 6mpire became the &ey.phrase to official ideology !t the same time a steady resistance to the nationalistic and aggressi'e policy of the ruling classes rapidly gained in scope and intensity That resistance *as stimulated by the nonconPformist free thought of the pre'ious period and by pessimistic trends of Nfin de siecleN 7hilosophic systems# such as that of the Eerman scholar (chopenhauer U 5e had *ritten his

famous and contro'ersial boo& The 3orld as 3ill and Idea as early as 1819 but it only became important by the end of the century The beginning of the crisis of Victorianism# of the decay of the 6nglish countryPside is reflected in the blea&ly pessimistic no'els of Thomas 5ardy The narro* 'illage.*orld he depicts acts as a sort of microcosm through *hich an insight is obtained into the deepening gloom of the centuryLs last decades 5ardyLs first boo& of indisputable artistic *orth is The 7eturn of the ,ati#e *here# li&e 6liot in Middlemarch$ he introduces a &ind of collecti'e hero in 6gdon 5eath# a small out of the *ay place inhabited by poor *ood.cutters and poorer farmers !ccording to 5ardy# it is precisely among common 'illagers de'oting themsel'es to a se'ere struggle for e"istence that genuine and spontaneous passions still li'e# as distinct from the artificial sophistications that pass for feeling among city ladies and gentlemen# if is in these Eod.forsa&en 'illages# 5ardy claims# that dramas of truly (ophoclean grandeur are enacted =lashes of *ills# beliefs# personalities# dramas of lo'e and death form the sub4ect.matter of most of 5ardyLs no'els Those of his characters that adapt themsel'es *ell to their surroundings# that become part of their nature and scenery mostly do *ell and ma&e good? those that rebel against them in one *ay or another are generPally destroyed or made hopelessly miserable (ometimes these rebels# these unclassed ones *ho attempt to rise abo'e their o*n sphere succeed in ruining those *ho . under any other circumstances *ere made for a simple and healthy life# a life full of such *or& as is consistent *ith natureLs *ays and benefit This is *hat occurs in 3oodlanders *here the li'es of such true children of nature as Eiles Ainterbourne and 0arthey (outh are *rec&ed by *ea&lings *ho ha'e se'ered their ties *ith their nati'e land UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU UUUU :n the no'els 5ardy *rote in his later years 1Tess of the d9%r!er#illes and Jude the !scure- his fa'ourite characters fight a losing battle against the cruel social la* that is e'er ready to do do*n those *ho by birth and education do not belong to the pri'ileged classes The inhumanity of society causes the tragic death of 5ardyLs most attracti'e heroine Tess? Iude is thoroughly beaten in his ;uest for inner freedom# for &no*ledge# for uncon'entional lo'e N5appiness#N 5ardy sadly remar&ed# Nis but an episode in the general drama of pain N :n his no'els 5ardy also displayed some affinities *ith the scientific thought of his time M ideas of e'olution# of biological necessity and struggle for e"istence go together *ith someP*hat mystical notions of fate blindly ruling the destiny of men and *omen and often ta&ing the shape of tragic irony

!fter the hue and cry raised by critics and official opinion about the dreary pessimism of Jude the !scure 5ardy ga'e up no'els and de'oted himself to poetry *hich he had been steadily *riting since his youth but hardly e'er publishing :t 'aries much in nature and form# including philosophical lyrics# popular ballads and songs 5ardyLs poetry has certain parallels *ith that of Iames Thomson# a philosophPical poet in 'iolent re'olt against Victorian moral and religious assumptions 5is symbolic poem The City of 0readful ,i*ht is a ghastly 'ision of contemporary >ondon and the e"istence of its inhabitants The star& pessimism of the last decades *as strongest in the *or&s of Eeorge Eissing 5e emphasised his *ish to go on *here 9ic&ens had left off N: mean to bring home to people the ghastly condition (material# mental# and moral) of our poor classes# to sho* the hideous in4ustice of our *hole system of society# to gi'e light on the plan of altering it N :n his first no'el 3or.ers in the 0a/n Eissing may be said to ha'e stuc& to this program# for he e"posed the sordid realities underPlying capitalist ci'ilisation and discussed social reform %ut ;uite early in his career he ga'e up all idea of altering the *orld 5e became increasingly hostile to socialism and to the *or&ing class 10emos-& EissingLs descriptions are naturalistic and con'ey a feeling of deadly disgust *ith all aspects of physical degradation 5e ne'er succeeds in creating con'incing flesh and blood characters of Nlo*N life and hardly e'er rises to see their essential humanity @n the *hole# 6nglish naturalism as represented by Eissing# !rthur 0orrison and# partly# Eeorge 0oore *as deri'ati'e :t is easily traced to Drench influence# and it ne'er assumed the stature and the originality it had in Drance This is not to say that it had no raison d5etre in 6ngland *here it *as stimulated by the great progress of science and conse;uent desire to e"plore the interdependence ofUU physiology# psychology and sociology# to gi'e a scientific e"planation of man and society :f the no'el *as an immediate ans*er to the relentless demands of time# the ans*er gi'en by poetry *as more comple" and indirect 7art of it seemed utterly di'orced from the problems of the age :n 1818 9ante Eabriel $ossetti# 5olman 5unt and Iohn 0illais organised an e"hibition of their pictures# all of them signed *ith the letters 7 $ % M*hich stood for 7re.$aphaelite %rotherhood This implied that the artists *ere of the opinion that the decay of art had started e'er since $aphael# *ho# they proclaimed# had already been formal and uninspired U They called for a return to early :talian 7re.$aphaelite art (%otticelli) *here religious inspiration had led to true and pure beauty They lo'ingly painted pictures on religious sub4ects and on sub4ects borro*ed from romantic poets# as for e"ample# <eats Their criticism of the soulless mechanical modernity assumed a purely aesthetic form? it deliberately refused to see& for uni'ersal accept ion and appealed to a small and sophisticated minority Ce'ertheless# *hate'er the limitations of the creed of the 7re.$aphaelites# their pictures and poetry *ere a protest against the prosperous bourgeois and against the emptiness of official academic art :t *as this protest that the *ell.&no*n critic and *riter Iohn $us&in *elcomed in his famous pamphlet "re+7aphaelitism& 5e praised the young painters for their earnestness of purpose# for their lofty perception of the artistLs message to his public Ket his o*n concepts *ere much more profound and radical :n studying art $us&in came to the bitter conclusion that its mission could not be fulfilled unless it helped to ma&e life more beautiful Co* in an age of industrial capitalism *ith all the ine'itable hideousness it brings in its *a&e art pro'ed incapable of carrying out its main function# because most people *ere too miserable and too uneducated to en4oy it Therefore it is the business of the artist not only to create beauty but to enable common

people to feel that beauty This is ho* $us&in came to thin& of the artistLs duty in social terms 5e preached his sermon of lo'e and mutual &indness to both higher and lo*er classes# nai'ely entreating them to fight the e'ils of capitalism together These ideas of $us&inLs *ere also largely influenced by his senior contemporary Thomas =arlyle# *riter# historian and essayist# one of the first to utter a s*eeping denunciation of the 'ictorious 6nglish bourgeoisie =arlyle# according to 0ar"# *as strong in his hatred of capitalism and in his understanding of all the suffering it stood for but *rong.headed in his apotheosis of medie'al old times as an e'erPlasting model of social and moral perfection $us&in *as at one *ith him in hisU abhorrence of the annihilating effect of industrialisation upon the natural de'elopment of the ma4ority of people# but his attention *as focused on *hat *as needed to regenerate men so that their hearts should be open to the further 'i'ifying influence of art $us&inLs political and economic ideas *ere nai'e (as for instance in The "olitical Economy of Arty or %nto This Last-$ but his &een sense of the fundamental *rongness of bourgeois ci'ilisation and passionate belief in the uplifting and restorati'e po*er of art had a far.reaching effect appreciated e'en outside 6ngland# as for instance by > C Tolstoy The aesthetic *or&s of $us&in *ere *idely and an"iously read# ail the more so as his prose *as lucid and pure and easy to follo*. 5is *orship of art led his follo*ers to t*o different conclusions @ne of them amounted to de'elopPing $us&inLs cult of beauty into a doctrine of the supremacy of art M to the e"clusion of most other principles and interests The other *as focused on the social aspect of $us&inLs theories :ts upholders came to thin& of beauty mostly in the terms of its moral and social 'alue $us&in had 'oiced his indignant protest against the higher classes monopolising art and thus ma&ing it effete and anaemic Ailliam 0orris# his disciple# *ent further than that 5e began by being an enthusiastic 7re. $aphaelite painter? he proceeded to *rite poems on sub4ects borro*ed from =lassical myth and medie'al fol&lore and# seeing that poetry *as helpless to relie'e the dreary ugliness of Victorian 6ngland# he started as decorator and artistic designer *ith the 'ie* of bringing some beauty into e'eryday life 8nfortunately# the lo'ely *all.paper# carpets# stained glass he produced# using nothing but the simplest looms# *ere so e"pensi'e that only the 'ery rich could afford to buy them !nd of course the readers of 0orrisLs poetry *ere not numerous either :t *as in his desperate attempt to ma&e art ser'e the ma4ority of the people that 0orris adopted the ideas of socialism as the only system that could pro'ide for the happiness of the greatest number of men and *omen This occurred at the beginning of the Leighties *hen the protest of *or&ing.class and socialist agitation gre* in po*er# as the crisis of NclassicalN capitalism had begun to ma&e itself felt in more *ays than one 0orris subsidised and contributed to se'eral socialist papers# became an acti'e member of the (ocialist >eague and *rote poetry intended to inspire and to enlighten the *or&ing men of 6ngland so as to ma&e them turn their minds to socialism The Chants for Socialists$ The "oems !y the 3ay$ the 'erse narrati'e of The "il*rims of Hope called for freedom# 4ustice and repeal of the selfish la*s of capitalism 0orrisLs dreams of the uni'ersal happiness to be realised after a *orld.*ide 'ictory of socialism *ere embodied in his prose tales A 0ream of John Ball and ,e/s from ,o/here& The land of the future as 0orris sees it# must primarily be beauPtiful# but in contradistinction to $us&in# 0orris perfectly realised that the *ay to the land of bliss did not lie through harmony and reconciliation of classes but through clashes bet*een them 5e *as but the most talented# 'ersatile and best &no*n of a fairly large number of re'olutionary poets of the Leighties (5enry (alt# Iames Ioynes and others)

The other literary group also supporting the doctrines of $us&in dre* mostly on their *ea&er aspects Thus# *ith 9ante Eabriel $ossetti the concept of the supreme influence of art became mystically religious 5is poetry is o'erelaborate# refined and hea'ily ornate The beauty of its imagery is marred by mannerisms# some of *hich are repetiti'e# and all of *hich are particularly ob'ious in comparison *ith the sources from *hich he dra*s his inspiration M the poetry of 9ante# %la&e# <eats# and the popular ballad (as in Sister Helen-& Aith $ossetti poetry mo'es into a sphere that can hardly be accessible to anybody outside a small artistic elite :t seems safe to say that $ossettiLs greatest achie'ement lay in paintingO his insistence on simplicity# on spirituality# his concentration on the inner instead of the out*ard life *ere a fine display of indignation at official routine and mediocrity $ossetti e"ercised a po*erful influence upon !lgernon =harles (*inburne *ho besides *ent to school to Drench poets (5ugo# %audelaireZ and painters (0anet) 5is early poems# li&e the art of the 7re.$aphaelites# *ere an aesthetic protest against the pompous formality of Victorian art and poetry (*inburneLs fran& eroticism shoc&ed the critics *ho raised a terrible outcry against the immorality of the author Dor some time (*inburne *as carried a*ay by the :talian mo'ement for liberation ($isorgimento) and celebrated the cause of freedom in his masterpiece# a.collection of poems called Son*s !efore Sunrise& %ut he soon ga'e up politics and *ent heart and soul into a practical and theoretical defence of the idea of the supremacy of art# *hich# he maintained# should ha'e no purpose but beauty (*inburneLs poems and tragedies *ere generally brilliant specimens of e"cellent techni;ue# as far as *ord.painting and musical effects *ere concerned Their 'irtuosity is e"traordinary but they are singularly 'oid of true depth# M in thought and feeling ali&e :n his later years (*inburne une"pectedly reconciled his republicanism and his sympathy *ith freedom M *ith the most respectful admiration of Queen VictoPria# of %ritish colonial policy and e'en of the imperialist %oer Aar The formalistic aesthetic note that rang in the poetry# prose and critical essays of (*inburne *as still more clearly pronounced in the *or& of Aalter 7ater ! disPciple of Iohn $us&in# he resolutely detached the latterLs cult of beauty from moral and social purpose 5e saysO N>et us understand by poetry all literary production *hich attains the po*er of gi'ing pleasure by its form as distinct from its matter N !estheticism goes hand in hand *ith e"treme sub4ecti'ism and agnosticism in the *hole of 7aterLs literary output :n his history of $enaissance painters# in the colPlection of critical essays Appreciations 7ater definitely says he does not see his *ay to any manner of ob4ecti'e interpretation ! critic can only ans*er one ;uestionO NAhat is this song or picture to meQN This reduces the function of a critic to an impresPsionistic description of his o*n sensations in connection *ith art :mpressionism also characterises 7aterLs fiction 1Marius the Epicurean-& 7ater profoundly *or&ed on the literary theory of the poet and critic !rthur (ymons# of the painter and prose *riter !udrey %eardsley and e'en more so on that of @scar Ailde# *ho in the *ords of a later historian# Npushed his masterLs sober and academic doctrine to an e"cessi'e and cynical displayN Cot only did he support 7aterLs idea on the di'orce bet*een art and morality M he *ent so far as to maintain that perfect art *as perfectly consistent *ith perfect immorality This is the sub4ect of the essay "en$ "encil and "oison& :n his o*n art# ho*e'er (fairy.tales# plays# no'els# poetry)# Ailde *as 'ery often a moralist :n The Happy "rince and ther Stories: in his no'el The "icture of 0orian Gray$ in dramas li&e The Ideal Hus!and the moral is that of altruism# &indness and honesty This contradiction bet*een theory and practice is partly the

result of AildeLs desire to shoc& bourgeois public opinion# to ta&e 0rs ErundyLs breath a*ay *ith the sharpness of his parado"es These *ere really AildeLs *ay of protest against the 'ulgarity and flatness of offiPcial *ays of thin&ing 7arado"es find their *ay into all his dramas and no'els ali&e and are mostly a simple and effecti'e argument against the pretentious futility of recei'ed opinion AildeLs *or& *as certainly not so immoral as AildeLs theory proclaimed Thus# in The "icture of 0orian Gray$ despite the emphatic statement of the preface# the conclusion the author arri'es at is that immorality mars beauty M at least in a society that is not yet ready to gi'e full scope to persons *ho see& for L unfettered e"pression of their ego# regardless of other peopleLs sentiments AildeLs most passionate plea for humanity is his Ballad of 7eadin* Gaol& ! similar#U though essentiallyU different conflict bet*een theoretical indifferPence to all moral purpose in art and practical preoccupation *ith moral problems #UU is ob'iousU inU allU the *ritings ofU $obert >ouis (te'enson 5is art has curious affinities *ith 'ery nearly all of the most important aspects of contemporary literaPture To begin *ith# it has tangible associations *ith the aesthetic school *hose Nart for artN precepts (te'enson often repeats? he is ne"t closely associated *ith the no'el of ad'enture that flourished in the last decades of the century# the difference being L that *ith (te'enson narrati'e is also psychological# *ritten in a style that is a model of purity# simplicity and descripti'e felicity? this brings (te'enson into close contact *ith the psychological no'el# dominated by the influence of Drench translations of 9ostoeys&yLs boo&s (te'enson# finally# is the bearer of romantic traditions in 6nglish literature U 5is poetry *as stimulated by =oleridgeLs and Aords*orthLs # interpretation of fol&lore# by the latterLs e"ploration of a childLs mentality? some of his no'els are historical# after the manner of (cott (e g # ;;8idnapped-& (te'ensonLs poetry *ith his little readers# *ith their range of interest and 'ision (te'ensonLs later no'els are dramatic and they considerably gain in depth and subtlety 5is is a tranPsitional and mi"ed art that has all the charm of profound sincerity# of an"ious searchPing for truth and beauty The refinement of the aesthetic school# no less than the pessimistic tendencies of later 19th century social thought# *ere criticised as decadent and effete by poets li&e Ailliam 5enley and $udyard <ipling The latter alternately adopted a natuPralistic and imitati'e pseudo.romantic techni;ue !n enthusiastic supporter of the %ritish 6mpire *hose mission# <ipling belie'ed# *as to be a sa'iour of all nations# <ipling glorified simple men of action# builders of the 6mpire# sacrificing health# *ealth and their 'ery li'es for *hat they felt to be their patriotic duty They form the sub4ect matter of <iplingLs poetry (as in Barrac. 7oom Ballads or The Se#en Seas- and of his prose (as in Soldiers Three-& !s <ipling mostly describes common men M soldiers# sailors# mechanics and petty colonial ser'ants M his descriptions of their self.sacrifice and heroic endea'our generally do not stri&e us as false :t is only *hen <ipling lauds the great men of the 6mpire and the Ahite 0anLs burPden that he departs from truth and art simultaneously <iplingLs no'el The Li*ht That )ailed is the story of a painter *ho disco'ers his 'ocation in painting scenes of *ar# colonial *ar# in all its na&ed ugliness and cruelty and yet con'eying the feeling that all suffering is *orth *hile for the sa&e of %ritainLs greatness <ipling is at his best in *or&s for children *here reactionary politics interfere least *ith his narrati'e and descripti'e art 5e *as also a great master of the short story# of stri&ing description# particularly of :ndian scenery The political and moral 'alues <ipling stood for *ere not palatable to his more ad'anced and sensiti'e contemporaries Their spo&esman *as the poet and critic 0atthe* !rnold The all.

embracing criticism of Victorian ci'ilisation 'oiced in his essays found numerous admirers 5e endea'oured to ma&e his poetry se'erely classical so as to stri&e a contrast to the shoddy sentimentality that *as so much in 'ogue *ith the general public 9isgust *ith the spirit of Victorianism culminated in (amuel %utlerLs The 3ay of All )lesh& The author# a scholar and scientist# *as at one and the same time profoundly influenced by the ne* biological theories# by the disco'eries of 9ar*in# and repelled by their mechanistic interpretation The no'el is a history of se'eral generations of the middle.class family of the 7ontife"es %utlerLs chief attention is gi'en to their youngest off.spring 6rnest 5is life is 'ery nearly *rec&ed by the false and hypocritical upbringing he has en4oyed in the thoroughly smug home of his clerical father and his *ea& and sentimental mother (chool and 8ni'ersity do their best to depri'e him of the capacity for independent thought (in an earlier satire on the fantastic land of Ere/hon$ a parody of contemporary 6nglish life# %utler had called them =olleges of 8nreason *hose main function *as to cause atrophy pf opinion) :t is only after 6rnestLs public disgrace and imprisonment that the scales fall from his eyes and he starts thin&ing for himself @n finally realising the nature of the humbug and the pious frauds Victorian ideology rests upon# 6rnest does e"actly *hat the author himself didO he practically becomes a recluse re4ecting all social aWid domestic ties and de'otes himself to science and fiction# ta&ing e'ery precaution not to mi" freely *ith the leading literati of his time %utlerLs style conforms as little to recei'ed notions as his ideas :t is concise# terse# dry and ironical? it entirely dispenses *ith the sentimental 'ocabulary of emotion and *ith rhetorical flourishes The author dissects and analyses# he moc&s the fashionable stylistic tags and is careful to appeal to reason and logic rather than to feeling and imagination 5is 'ery imagery (fre;uently deri'ed from the authorLs biological studies) is more informati'e and businessli&e than emotional and suggesti'e The ;uiet# subdued matter.of.factness of his tone ma&es his indictPment of contemporary bourgeois *ays of thin&ing all the more formidable %utler *as *ise not to ha'e published in his o*n life.time a boo& that *ould certainly ha'e made him the butt of sa'age critical attac&s :t therefore *as brought to public attention posthumously and constitutes one of the stimulating influences in the history of the ad'anced no'el in the first decades of the H0th century The ne* flo*ering of critical and social realism associated *ith the names of (ha*# Eals*orthy# Aells# =onrad# %ennett# though inaugurated in the later years of the 19th century# belongs rather to the H0th and *ill# accordingly# be treated in the last 'olume of the present series ,ina 0ia.ono#a