Victorian Contexts & Texts

The Victorian time period is marked by the life of Queen Victoria who ascended to the throne in 1837 and died in 1901. This period placed emphasis on values such as honor, duty, morality, and sexual propriety. Accordingly, the hierarchical structures of gender, race, and cultural superiority held these Victorian values in place. There was a rise of a spirit of entrepreneurship which could potentially provide upward mobility, but this prospect was often dimmed by the grim reality of widespread poverty and starvation. Novelists of this time period felt that their work may be able to enlighten their audience to abhorrent conditions of the working class. The emergence of realism in literature allowed the author to reflect the everyday habits, desires, and moral progress back to his/her average reader.


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