The Victorian Age

Today we began exploring the period between 1837 and 1901. This was a time of huge industrial expansion and a widening rift between those who had everything and those who had nothing. This lecture explores the way these concerns was expressed in the literature of the age.

Audio Recording:

View this audio in conjunction with the following slides:
Queen Victoria’s Railway Carriage:

Lecture for Week 8: Audio:

Audio Lecture for Week 8.


1/ Describe a contact you have had with some marginalized group (gypsies/ circus people etc). Has it shown you the deficiencies of your own world view?

2/ Write a letter to Charles Dickens commending him on how he has exposed real deficiencies in human behaviour.

3/ Write a letter to Louisa Gradgrind trying to make her feel better for what has happened to her in her life.

4/ Write a short two stanza poem about moving into a new form of life (like with the Gypsies). Use any line from Matthew Arnold’s poem “The Scholar Gypsy” as the first line in your poem.

5/ You are a Victorian woman or man. Describe the things that you value most in life.


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