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British Literature: Victorian Era 1837-1901

A guide for ENG 240 Foundations of British Literature.

Subject Headings

  • English fiction -- 19th century
  • English fiction -- 19th century -- History and criticism
  • Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson, Baron, 1809-1892 -- Criticism and interpretation.
  • Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn, 1810-1865 -- Criticism and interpretation.   
  • Rossetti, Christina Georgina, 1830-1894 -- Criticism and interpretation.  
  •  Literature and society -- England -- History -- 19th century.
  • Women and literature -- England -- History -- 19th century.

Young Queen Victoria

Victorian literature is the literature produced during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901) (the Victorian era). It forms a link and transition between the writers of the romantic period and the very different literature of the 20th century. Along with romance novels, there were many horror novels written as well. ~ From Wikipedia

Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)

Tennyson was Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular poets in the English language.He excelled at penning short lyrics, such as "In the Valley of Cauteretz", "Break, Break, Break", "The Charge of the Light Brigade", "Tears, Idle Tears" and "Crossing the Bar". Much of his verse was based on classical mythological themes, such as Ulysses.

Lewis Carroll 1832-1898

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll was an English writer,mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon, and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, which includes the poem "Jabberwocky", and the poem The Hunting of the Snark, all examples of the genre of literary nonsense. He is noted for his facility at word play, logic, and fantasy. There are societies in many parts of the world dedicated to the enjoyment and promotion of his works and the investigation of his life.

Library Materials


Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

Christina Rossetti was an English poet who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional, and children's poems. She is perhaps best known for her long poem Goblin Market, her love poem Remember, and for the words of the Christmas carol In the Bleak Midwinter.

Elizabeth Barrett (1806-1861) and Robert (1812-1889) Browniing

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most prominent poets of the Victorian era. Her poetry was widely popular in both England and the United States during her lifetime. A collection of her last poems was published by her husband, Robert Browning, shortly after her death. Elizabeth had produced a large amount of work and had been writing long before Robert Browning had. However, he had a great influence on her writing, as did she on his: two of Barrett’s most famous pieces were produced after she met Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese and Aurora Leigh.

Robert Browning was an English poet and playwright whose mastery of dramatic verse, especially dramatic monologues, made him one of the foremost Victorian poets. Browning is often known by some of his short poems, yet his fame today rests mainly on his dramatic monologues, in which the words not only convey setting and action but also reveal the speaker’s character. The sophisticated and cultivated rhetoric of the aristocratic and civilized Duke of My Last Duchess, is perhaps the most frequently cited example of the poet's dramatic monologue form, that the attentive reader discovers the most horrific example of a mind totally mad despite its eloquence in expressing itself.

Other Prominent Victorian Writers

Oscar Wilde 1854-1900 

Charles Dickens 1812-1870