The Mind and Art of Victorian England
edited by Josef L. Altholz
University of Minnesota Press, 1976
Paper: 978-0-8166-5693-6


The Mind and Art of Victorian England was first published in 1976. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

In a series of ten essays and a generous selection of illustrations, many in color, this volume depicts and assesses the mind and art of Victorian England. Multidisciplinary in approach, the essays deal with a variety of aspects in the history of the Victorian age.

Professor Altholz, the volume editor, writes: "It was an age not of revolution but of reform; political reform which admitted first the middle and then the working classes to the dominant share of the suffrage; economic and social reforms which proclaimed the triumph of laissez-faire while laying the foundations of the welfare state; moral reforms attempted if not achieved through education and religious revival; aesthetic reforms proposed if not achieved and, even in their failure, adding to the richness and diversity of Victorian England. It was an age whose problems cried out for reform; and, despite the prevailing complacency, virtually all the great Victorians were critics of their age. Their criticisms were diverse and often mutually incompatible, with each other -- and their public -- but they shared a high seriousness which gave character and substance to the flowering of their culture. Such was the Victorian age: the high-water mark of English history, the maturation of British culture, and the seedbed of our problems and our discontents."

The illustrations include color reproductions of some of the works discussed by Melvin Waldfogel in his essay "Narrative Painting," and a selection of architectural engravings and photographs.

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