Victorian as a cultural phenomenon associated with the long reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901), but its value for the subsequent development of English history, culture, literature cannot be overestimated. It was during this Victorian period literature in England acquires the status of a great colonial power, forms the national idea and identity, which was destined to challenge the aggressive attacks from the outside.
Victorian left in the minds of the English people some idea of the inviolability of traditions, significance of democracy and moral philosophy, as well as a strong desire to turn to time-tested emblems and symbols of the Victorian era. In fact, it was the Victorians it’s great literature proved the enduring importance of spiritual values in the formation of the national mentality and determination of the place of the individual in history and civilization. In the works of Victorian authors: Charles Dickens and W. M. Thackeray, Bronte sisters, E. Gaskell, D. Meredith, George. Eliot, Trollope reflected particular social and political development of England, with all the complexities and contradictions, discoveries and failures.
Long time Victorian England was preserved in the everyday understanding of the English as a symbol of uncompromising prosperity, sustainability and stability in the whole of the human being and of society as a whole. This is a society of the era of the reign of Victoria in the novel George. After Victoria’s death, as I believe along with the author of the heroes of Galsworthy, the period of smartnote, instability, the collapse of values.
Victorian Era literature themes
The Victorian boom in the literature of the 50-60-ies of XX century confirmed this view, but it happened at a time when England itself was found with difficulties associated with the rise of the middle class, which was a stronghold of Victorian. Quite a different picture we see in the postmodern English novel, who rediscovered his countrymen the so-called Victorian values, until recently, considered beyond review and reassessment. D. Fowles and A. Biett saw almost a century later, what was contained and suppressed Victorian England, intoxicated with the success of the economic and international, humanitarian and cultural.
Again in the minds of modern Englishmen arose the ghosts of the past prosperity reflected in a kind of eclectic Victorian architecture and sculpture, the literature that contains enormous potential destructive power. Monument to Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace, Victorian mansions, spacious and solidly built, but quite ridiculous in its versatility and designed for a large staff of servants, and the Museum of Albert and Victoria are perceived now as symbols and emblems of the past century, but also as silent witnesses of the unclaimed are still ideas about the real Victoria and her era.
National identity as a set of peculiarities of the national ideas, mentality and relations with society, historical category, agile and dynamic, it can not exist as once and for all fixed for a certain time. In this case, following Jacques Derrida, we can read texts in several historical eras, which does not contradict the idea of national identity, the prospects inherent in the dialectic of development. For national identity is an important context, in this case Victorian culture, so you should recall three important aspects of the crumbling old, the modern state and the emerging new, declaring themselves not quite systematically and persistently.
Crumbling old concluded, on the one hand, the final break with the genre of romance and an appeal to modern life. That’s why for the Victorians it is very important to determine their attitude to the eighteenth century when the confrontation between the two genre categories ended in victory for the novel.
The eighteenth century with its huge reliance on the mind and feeling as an equal category of human consciousness was especially close to a pragmatic and dynamic nineteenth century. Education and training, to which so much attention was paid to the enlightenment, became a special concern of the Victorian writer. Education and awareness formed a large readership, which in the Victorian time. Specialization took place, mainly by attracting the child audience as a mass reader and grateful. In the XIX century. In England, was born literature for boys and girls.
On the other hand, the crumbling old had potential, not shown in full extent in the age of the flowering of the novel. Therefore, it was important that destroying the old to usher in a new relationship with the other two aspects of culture. Modern current state of the novel in the Victorian era was determined by its dominant position in society, as the most adequate and complete reflection of the panorama of life, however, the notion of genre has changed due to the fact that art is farther away from the category of imitation, the simulation, the position of the novel in the Victorian era were exceptionally favorable, the Queen herself was interested in the works of his contemporaries, the novel existed in cheap editions.
He was instrumental in the formation of public opinion in connection with the spread of education among the population. Language and terminology was clarified as the acquisition of novel status of the main generator of ideas on maintenance of stability and order in society. The classic formula of Fielding, or rather, his definition of genre as “comic epic poem in prose” is preserved in only the first of Dickens “Posthumous notes of the Pickwick club”, which coincided with his appearance with the accession of Victoria to the throne.
Later Dickens used different wording put forward by W. Collins, “make them laugh, cry, wait.” As a public nation, England made the novel part of the public-political life and of being a citizen who is concerned about not only their rights, but also responsibilities. English Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli was both a Victorian Era novelist and head of the literary political group – “Young England”. It was his most honored Queen. Indeed in his work reflected many of the features of English identity, perceived from the inside Victorian and outside it.
Queen Victoria (1819-1901) and her husband Prince Albert, was closely connected by family or dynastic ties with many European monarchs. Russian Tsar Alexander I was the godfather of Victoria, so it has a middle name Alexandrina in honor of Alexander. During the reign of Victoria, England became a major colonial power, and the Queen was proclaimed Empress of India. The success of a thriving industrial power was illustrated at the world exhibition in London in 1851.
However, the stability was relatively, more precisely, it has been maintained and strengthened at the expense of family, home, develop a specific doctrine of behavior and morality. Frequent change of governments (Melbourne, Palmerston, Gladstone, Disraeli, Salisbury) showed a change of priorities in foreign and domestic policy. Democratization was driven by a constant fear of the monarch to a possible threat from the revolutionary-minded neighbors (France, Germany, America, far), and the need to reduce the gap between higher and secondary layer English society.
The latter became a reliable bulwark of the nation and consistently achieved success towards the conquest of power. Chartism and his success also influenced the apparent stability, caused irritation and fear of the ruling circles. Chartism proved to be quite active in the 40’s and early 50-ies. Even the philosopher and ideologist of the Victorian Thomas Carlyle devoted a separate work to this labor movement, which had a significant impact on the internal politics of the UK.
Victorian writing style
At the same time with significant successes and achievements in the Victorian era, the contradictions and in England (the constant conflicts of London with the Parliament) and outside. Disagreements regarding interference in the internal Affairs of Portugal, in the years 1846-1847, the debate in connection with the policy of the foreign Minister in the Palmerston government of Lord Russell, even coming to England in 1864. Garibaldi greeted with enthusiasm by most of the British, renewed contacts with France, the exchange of state visits between Victoria and Napoleon III caused a mixed reaction in English society.
The Queen several times made the attempt. In 1854 he unleashed the Crimean war with Russia in support of Turkey. The pacifist policy of Prince Albert and his opposition to the policy of Palmerston made him a highly unpopular figure, had even been rumored that he is Russian spy and should be tried for treason. When the civil war began in America, England was on the side of the southerners. Palmerston and Russell saw an excuse to weaken the position of the United States, representing a threat to the international prestige of England. Only the personal intervention of Prince Albert saved two of the nation from an imminent war that could change the entire future course of history.
After her husband’s death Victoria was engaged exclusively in the Imperial Affairs of the nation. She truly resented the racist prejudices among his countrymen and condemned the attitude of the Boers to the black people of South Africa. Even getting the news about the failures of the British army in Africa, Victoria said: “In our house we are not interested in the possibilities of defeat they just don’t exist.” In these words was the essence of the Victorian ideology and politics, philosophy of life and morality.
The marriage of Victoria and Albert was very happy. He has served as a model and an example to his subjects. She had nine children. Family relations always constitute the standard of nobility and understanding, disagreements were of a purely political nature and were not fundamental.