Victorian literature

literature during the period of Queen Victoria's reign

Victorian literature refers to English literature during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901). The 19th century is considered by some to be the Golden Age of English Literature, especially for British novels. It was in the Victorian era that the novel became the leading literary genre in English. English writing from this era reflects the major transformations in most aspects of English life, from scientific, economic, and technological advances to changes in class structures and the role of religion in society. Famous novelists from this period include Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, the three Brontë sisters, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy. While the Romantic period was a time of abstract expression and inward focus, essayists, poets, and novelists during the Victorian era began to reflect on realities of the day, including the dangers of factory work, the plight of the lower class, and the treatment of women and children. Prominent examples include poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and novelists Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy. Barrett's works on child labour cemented her success in a male-dominated world where women writers often had to use masculine pseudonyms. Dickens employed humour and an approachable tone while addressing social problems such as wealth disparity. Hardy used his novels to question religion and social structures.Poetry and theatre were also present during the Victorian era. Robert Browning and Alfred Tennyson were Victorian England's most famous poets. With regard to the theatre it was not until the last decades of the 19th century that any significant works were produced. Notable playwrights of the time include Gilbert and Sullivan, George Bernard Shaw, and Oscar Wilde.
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movement: Victorian literature

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