The Victorian Period (1832-1901)

7. The Victorian Period (1832-1901)

The Victorian Period (1832-1901)

Main Literary Features of the Age

  1. Victorian Literature shifts from the Romantic utopianism to utilitarianism, from the Romantic imagination to reality, from the Romantic common man to middle class.
  2. The attitude to nature also changes. To the Romantics it was kind and harmonious; to the Victorians it is harsh and cruel.
  3. Prudery and morality become the controlling principles of creative works.
  4. It encourages “compromise and construction.”
  5. In the early part of the age literature chooses “art for life’s sake” as the principle of art and asserts didactic purposes.
  6. The mass of writings of this age reflects a highly idealized notion of “proper Behavior.”
  7. A dualism of reason and emotion, materialism and mysticism, religion and science or faith and doubt, freedom and restriction is very common in the literature of this period.
  8. Poets, novelists and essayists of this age emphasize truth, Justice, brotherhood, peace and stability.
  9. Dramatic monologue and elegy are popular poetic forms of the age.   


Major Authors of Victorian Period

1. Charles Dickens

Birth:    07 February 1812, Landport, Hampshire, England

Death: 09 June 1870, Higham, Kent, England  

Important information:

Great on Victorian novelist

Full Name: Charles John Huffam Dickens

English writer

Famous Novels

The Pickwick Papers

David Copperfield

Hard times

A tale of two cities- Two cities are Paris and London

Great Expectation

Burraby Rudge

Oliver twist

Black Houe

Little Dorrit

The Old Curiosity Shop

The battle of life

Short story Collection

The Mudfag Papers

A House to let

The Uncommercial Travellers

The Wrack of the golden Mary

No thoroughfare

Mugby Junction

Famous Poetries

The fine Old English Gentleman

American Notes

Famous plays

The Frozen Deep

The village coquettes


2. Robert Browning

Birth: 07 May 1812, Cemberwell, London

Death: 12 December 1889, Venice, Italy

Important information:

-English Poet and Playwright

-Well known for master in dramatic verse and dramatic monologues.

-In his epic poem “The ring and the book” he justifies the ways of god to humanity.

-First published work is “Pauline, a fragment of a confession”

Famous Works:





The year of the spring

The Patriot

The Pied piper of Hamelin

Count Gisrmond

The last ride together

The lost Leader

Meeting at night

Rabbi Ben Ezra

Man and Woman

Andre Del satro

Fra Lippo Lippi



3. Alfred Lord Tennyson

Birth: 6 August 1809, Somersby, Lincolnshire, England

Death: 6 October 1892, Largashall, Sussex, England

Important information:

-Poet laureate

-He is the ninth most frequently quoted writer in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.

-He is best known for his melodious language

-His first work is “Two Brothers”   

Famous works:

Nothing Will Die

All Things Will Die

The Kraken


The Dying Swan


Lady Clara vere De vere

The Princess: a medley (Three thousand lines of blank verse )

Falcon (Comedy)

Maud (A monodrama)

English Idyll

The Charge of he light Brigade

In memoriam (written on the death of his bosom friend Hallam 131 lyrics found in this Book)

Famous Poems:

The land of shallot

The lotos – Eaters


Locksley Hall

The two voices


Vision of sin

… Above poems are included in the book “Poems”

The Princess


Tears, Idle Tears

The Eagle

The Sister’s Shame

… Above poem are included in the book “The Princess” : a Medley


Idylls of the King



Ulysses (Poem) -- Alfred Tennyson

Ulysses (Novel) – James Joyce


4. George Bernard Shaw

Birth: 26 July 1856,  Dublin Ireland.

Death: 2 November 1950, Hertfordshire, England

Important information:

-Playwright, Critic, Political activist, Novelist, Essayist, Short Story writer and dramatist.

-An Irish writer

-Literary movement Ibsenism, naturalism.

-Gof Academy Award for writing “Pygmalion”

-Mostly known as modern English Dramatist

-He is the only person who has been awarded both Nobel Prize in literature (1928) and academy Award (1938)

-He was a member of “Fabian Society”

-Famous for his Drama of Ideas

Famous Novels:


The irrational Knot

Love among the Artists

An Unsocial Socialist

Famous Plays:

Man and Superman

Saint John


The Apple Cart

Major Barbara



The Philanclerer

Widowers Houses

The man of Destiny

The Glimpse of Reality


Buoyant Billions

Arms and the Man

The Devil’s Dispel

Heart – Break House

Ceaser and Cleopatra

Doctor’s Dilemma

You Never Can Tell

Obscure fragment


Getting Married

Fanny’s First Play

Too True to be good

Shakes verces Shav

G. B. Shaw continues his writing in Modern Period


5. O' Henry (William Sidney Porter)

Birth: September 11, 1862, Greensboro North Carolina USA

Death: June 5, 1910 New York City

Important information:

-Greatest Modern American short story writer.

-He changes His middle name Sidney to Syney in 1898. He was called American Guy de Maupassant

Famous Short Stories:

The Gift of the Magi (Character Jim, Della)

The Ranson of Red Chief

The Cap and the Anthem

A Retrieved Reformation

The Duplicity of Hargranes

An afternoon Miracle

The Cactus


Blind man’s Holiday

The Higher Pragmatism

Round the Circle

The Ransom of the Mack

A Sacrifice Hit

Famous poetry:

Nothing to say

Hard to Forget

The murderer



Vanity Fair – Thackeray

Vanity – O’ Henry


Other Authors and their Works of Victorian Period


Works and important Notes

Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800 - 1859)

History of England (1843 - 1861)

Cardinal Newman (1801 - 1890)

The Idea of a University

Loss and Gain

John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)

On Liberty (1859)

Utilitarianism (1869)

The subjection of Woman (1864)

Charles Robert Darwin (1809 - 1882)

Edward Fitzgerald (1809 - 1883)

The Origin of Species (1859)

The Descent of Man (1871)

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1859), translated into English from Persian

Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (1810 - 1865), Popularly known as Mrs. Gaskell

Mary Barton (1848)

Cranford (1853)

Ruth (1853)

North and South (1855)

Sylvia’s Lovers (1863)

William Makepeace

Thackeray (1811 - 1863)

Vanity Fair (1848)

The Virginians (1859)

Villette (1853)

The Professor (1857)

Emily Bronte (1818 - 1848)

Wuthering Heights (1847)

Karl Marx (1818 - 1883)

Das Kapital (1867)

George Eliot (1819 - 1880)

(Real name Mary Ann Evans)

The mill on the Floss (1860)

Scenes of Clerical life (1858)

Adam Bede (1859)

Silas Marner (1861)

Romola (1863)

Middlemarch (1871 - 72)

Herman Melville (1819 - 1891)

Moby – Dick (1851)

Bartleby, the Scrivener (1853)

Gustave Flaubert (1821 - 1880)

Madame Bovary (1857)

Sentimental Education (1869)

The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1874)

Matthew Arnold (1822 - 88), a poet and a critic, known for his strong moral voice

“Essays in Criticism” (1888)

Culture and Anarchy (1867) and some poems

Mark Twain (1835 - 1910): (real name Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)

Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928) a novelist and poet

The Return of the Native (1878)

The Mayor of Caster bridge (1886)

Tess of the D’ Urbervilles (1891)

Henry James (1843 - 1916)

Daisy Miller (1879)

The wing of the dove

The American (1877)

The Portrait of a Lady (1881)

The Ambassadors

The Tragic Muse (1890)

The Spoils of Poyton (1897)

The Golden Bowl

Frederick Nietzsche (1844 – 1900 )

The Birth of Tragedy (1872)

Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1885)

The antichrist (1895)

Oscar Wilde (1856 - 190), a poet, novelist and dramatist

Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892)

A woman of No Importance (1893)

An Ideal Husband (1895)

The Importance of Being Earnest (1895)

George Robert Gissing (1857 – 1903)

The Nether World (1889)

Born in Exile (1892)

Denzil Quarrier (1892)

The Odd Women (1893)

The Paying Guest (1895)

The Whirlpool (1897)

Charles Dickens : a Critical Study (1898)

Kenneth Grahame (1859 – 1932)

Pagan Papers (1893)

The Golden Age (1895)

Dream Days (1898)

The Reluctant Dragon (1898)

The Headwoman (1898)

Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936) In Indian

The Jungle Book (1894)

Departmental Ditties (1886)

Plain Tales from the Hills (1888)

Soldiers Three (1890)


Just so stories

Ruck of Pook’s Hill

Rewards and Fairies


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