Victorian Age Quotes

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The Victorian woman became her ovaries, as today's woman has become her "beauty.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
The surgeons are playing on the myth's double standard for the function of the body. A man's thigh is for walking, but a woman's is for walking and looking "beautiful." If women can walk but believe our limbs look wrong, we feel that our bodies cannot do what they are meant to do; we feel as genuinely deformed and disabled as the unwilling Victorian hypochondriac felt ill.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
The Victorian Age, for all its humbug, was a period of rapid progress, because men were dominated by hope rather than fear. If we are again to have progress, we must again be dominated by hope.
Bertrand Russell (Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects)
I suspect that beneath your offensively and vulgarly effeminate façade there may be a soul of sorts. Have you read widely in Boethius?" "Who? Oh, heavens no. I never even read newspapers." "Then you must begin a reading program immediately so that you may understand the crises of our age," Ignatius said solemnly. "Begin with the late Romans, including Boethius, of course. Then you should dip rather extensively into early Medieval. You may skip the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. That is mostly dangerous propaganda. Now that I think of it, you had better skip the Romantics and the Victorians, too. For the contemporary period, you should study some selected comic books." "You're fantastic." "I recommend Batman especially, for he tends to transcend the abysmal society in which he's found himself. His morality is rather rigid, also. I rather respect Batman.
John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces)
England is not the jewelled isle of Shakespeare's much-quoted message, nor is it the inferno depicted by Dr Goebbels. More than either it resembles a family, a rather stuffy Victorian family, with not many black sheep in it but with all its cupboards bursting with skeletons. It has rich relations who have to be kow-towed to and poor relations who are horribly sat upon, and there is a deep conspiracy of silence about the source of the family income. It is a family in which the young are generally thwarted and most of the power is in the hands of irresponsible uncles and bedridden aunts. Still, it is a family. It has its private language and its common memories, and at the approach of an enemy it closes its ranks. A family with the wrong members in control - that, perhaps is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase.
George Orwell (Why I Write)
Oh, man," said Jack. "Everyone was nice to us when we looked rich. Now it feels like the whole world's against us.
Mary Pope Osborne (A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time (Magic Tree House, #44))
Has anyone been corrupted or defiled?" "Since the age of twelve," West said. "I wasn't asking you, I was asking the girls." "Not yet," Cassandra replied cheerfully.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
One of the insights of the Victorian Revival was that it was not necessarily a good thing for everyone to read a completely different newspaper in the morning; so the higher one rose in the society, the more similar one's Times became to one's peers'.
Neal Stephenson (The Diamond Age)
Okay, I’ll give you that Wuthering Heights is the least romantic book in the history of Victorian romances, but Jane Eyre?” “Is that the one where the douchebag hid his wife away in the attic and then lied about it to the girl he wanted to bang who was, like, half his age?” Claire winced. “Well, when you put it like that.
Ashley Herring Blake (Delilah Green Doesn't Care (Bright Falls, #1))
Nell did not imagine that Constable Moore wanted to get into a detailed discussion of recent events, so she changed the subject. "I think I have finally worked out what you were trying to tell me, years ago, about being intelligent," she said. The Constable brightened all at once. "Pleased to hear it." The Vickys have an elaborate code of morals and conduct. It grew out of the moral squalor of an earlier generation, just as the original Victorians were preceded by the Georgians and the Regency. The old guard believe in that code because they came to it the hard way. They raise their children to believe in that code– but their children believe it for entirely different reasons." They believe it," the Constable said, "because they have been indoctrinated to believe it." Yes. Some of them never challenge it– they grow up to be smallminded people, who can tell you what they believe but not why they believe it. Others become disillusioned by the hypocrisy of the society and rebel– as did Elizabeth Finkle-McGraw." Which path do you intend to take, Nell?" said the Constable, sounding very interested. "Conformity or rebellion?" Neither one. Both ways are simple-minded– they are only for people who cannot cope with contradiction and ambiguity.
Neal Stephenson (The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer)
Where woman do not fit the Iron Maiden [societal expectations/assumptions about women's bodies], we are now being called monstrous, and the Iron Maiden is exactly that which no woman fits, or fits forever. A woman is being asked to feel like a monster now though she is whole and fully physically functional. The surgeons are playing on the myth's double standard for the function of the body. A man's thigh is for walking, but a woman's is for walking and looking "beautiful." If women can walk but believe our limbs look wrong, we feel that our bodies cannot do what they are meant to do; we feel as genuinely deformed and disabled as the unwilling Victorian hypochondriac felt ill.
Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth)
Maybe I was wrong. Maybe there really is some goodness here in our world. But if goodness existed, that must mean that darkness existed as well.
Erica Sehyun Song
There has been a recent rash of authors and individuals fudging evidence in an attempt to argue that women have a higher sex drive than men. We find it bizarre that someone would want to misrepresent data merely to assert that women are hornier than men. Do those concerned with this difference equate low sex drives with disempowerment? Are their missions to somehow prove that women are super frisky carried out in an effort to empower women? This would be odd, as the belief that women’s sex drives were higher than men’s sex drives used to be a mainstream opinion in Western society—during the Victorian period, an age in which women were clearly disempowered. At this time, women were seen as dominated by their sexuality as they were supposedly more irrational and sensitive—this was such a mainstream opinion that when Freud suggested a core drive behind female self-identity, he settled on a desire to have a penis, and that somehow seemed reasonable to people. (See Sex and Suffrage in Britain by Susan Kent for more information on this.) If the data doesn’t suggest that women have a higher sex drive, and if arguing that women have a higher sex drive doesn’t serve an ideological agenda, why are people so dead set on this idea that women are just as keen on sex—if not more—as male counterparts? In the abovementioned study, female variability in sex drive was found to be much greater than male variability. Hidden by the claim, “men have higher sex drives in general” is the fun reality that, in general, those with the very highest sex drives are women. To put it simply, some studies show that while the average woman has a much lower sex drive than the average man, a woman with a high sex drive has a much higher sex drive than a man with a high sex drive. Perhaps women who exist in the outlier group on this spectrum become so incensed by the normalization of the idea that women have low sex drives they feel driven to twist the facts to argue that all women have higher sex drives than men. “If I feel this high sex drive,” we imagine them reasoning, “it must mean most women secretly feel this high sex drive as well, but are socialized to hide it—I just need the data to show this to the world so they don’t have to be ashamed anymore.” We suppose we can understand this sentiment. It would be very hard to live in a world in which few people believe that someone like you exists and people always prefer to assume that everyone is secretly like them rather than think that they are atypical.
Malcolm Collins (The Pragmatist’s Guide to Sexuality: What Turns People On, Why, and What That Tells Us About Our Species (The Pragmatist's Guide))
There has been a recent rash of authors and individuals fudging evidence in an attempt to argue that women have a higher sex drive than men. We find it bizarre that someone would want to misrepresent data merely to assert that women are hornier than men. Do those concerned with this difference equate low sex drives with disempowerment? Are their missions to somehow prove that women are super frisky carried out in an effort to empower women? This would be odd, as the belief that women’s sex drives were higher than men’s sex drives used to be a mainstream opinion in Western society—during the Victorian period, an age in which women were clearly disempowered. At this time, women were seen as dominated by their sexuality as they were supposedly more irrational and sensitive—this was such a mainstream opinion that when Freud suggested a core drive behind female self-identity, he settled on a desire to have a penis, and that somehow seemed reasonable to people. (See Sex and Suffrage in Britain by Susan Kent for more information on this.) If the data doesn’t suggest that women have a higher sex drive, and if arguing that women have a higher sex drive doesn’t serve an ideological agenda, why are people so dead set on this idea that women are just as keen on sex—if not more—as male counterparts? In the abovementioned study, female variability in sex drive was found to be much greater than male variability. Hidden by the claim, “men have higher sex drives in general” is the fun reality that, in general, those with the very highest sex drives are women. We suppose we can understand this sentiment. It would be very hard to live in a world in which few people believe that someone like you exists and people always prefer to assume that everyone is secretly like them rather than think that they are atypical.
Malcolm Collins
Don't forget to speak scornfully of the Victorian Age; there will be time for meekness when you try to better it. Very soon you will be Victorian or that sort of thing yourselves; next session probably, when the freshman come up.
J.M. Barrie (Courage)
I opened my eyes and watched the water stream past me. I let out some of my air and gazed at the cascade of silver bubbles dancing up to the surface.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
One might have said that reason made him flee from reason.
André Maurois (Disraeli: A Picture of the Victorian Age)
All the comics are sigils. "Sigil" as a word is out of date. All this magic stuff needs new terminology because it's not what people are being told it is at all. It's not all this wearying symbolic misdirection that's being dragged up from the Victorian Age, when no-one was allowed to talk plainly and everything was in coy poetic code. The world's at a crisis point and it's time to stop bullshitting around with Qabalah and Thelema and Chaos and Information and all the rest of the metaphoric smoke and mirrors designed to make the rubes think magicians are 'special' people with special powers. It's not like that. Everyone does magic all the time in different ways. "Life" plus "significance" = magic.
Grant Morrison
But on another, more potent level, the work of horror really is a dance—a moving, rhythmic search. And what it’s looking for is the place where you, the viewer or the reader, live at your most primitive level. The work of horror is not interested in the civilized furniture of our lives. Such a work dances through these rooms which we have fitted out one piece at a time, each piece expressing—we hope!—our socially acceptable and pleasantly enlightened character. It is in search of another place, a room which may sometimes resemble the secret den of a Victorian gentleman, sometimes the torture chamber of the Spanish Inquisition . . . but perhaps most frequently and most successfully, the simple and brutally plain hole of a Stone Age cave-dweller. Is horror art? On this second level, the work of horror can be nothing else; it achieves the level of art simply because it is looking for something beyond art, something that predates art: it is looking for what I would call phobic pressure points. The good horror tale will dance its way to the center of your life and find the secret door to the room you believed no one but you knew of—as both Albert Camus and Billy Joel have pointed out. The Stranger makes us nervous . . . but we love to try on his face in secret.
Stephen King (Danse macabre)
Virtually all political discourse in the days of my youth was devoted to the ferreting out of hypocrisy... Because they were hypocrites, the Victorians were despised in the late twentieth century. Many of the persons who held such opinions were, of course, guilty of the most nefarious conduct themselves, and yet saw no paradox in holding such views because they were not hypocrites themselves-they took no moral stances and lived by none.
Neal Stephenson (The Diamond Age: Or, a Young Lady's Illustrated Primer)
An artist must be a reactionary. He has to stand out against the tenor of the age and not go flopping along; he must offer some little opposition. Even the great Victorian artists were all anti-Victorian, despite the pressures to conform.
Evelyn Waugh
I know more about Emily Bronte than anyone I know. I know enough about her family to have been a part. I’ve walked with her on her damp luscious lonely moors, watched her strain to write on miniscule scraps of paper, seen her hide her works from prying eyes. I’ve brooded alongside her and participated in her taciturnity. Before her death at the ripe old age of 30, I nursed her from the things that ultimately killed her: tuberculosis with a side order of Victorian thinking.
Chila Woychik (On Being a Rat and Other Observations)
It is perhaps little wonder that the end of Victorianism almost exactly coincided with the invention of psychoanalysis.
Bill Bryson (At Home: A Short History of Private Life)
The Victorian era was an age of superlatives and larger-than-life characters, and as far as that goes, Dr. Wildman Whitehouse fit right in: what Victoria was to monarchs, Dickens to novelists, Burton to explorers, Robert E. Lee to generals, Dr. Wildman Whitehouse was to assholes. The only 19th-century figure who even comes close to him in this department is Custer.
Neal Stephenson (Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writing)
My intention in writing this book is not to hunt and name the killer. I wish instead to retrace the footsteps of five women, to consider their experiences within the context of their era, and to follow their paths through both the gloom and the light. They were worth more to us than the empty human shells we have taken them for: they were children who cried for their mothers; they were young women who fell in love; they endured childbirth and the deaths of parents; they laughed and celebrated Christmas. They argued with their siblings, they wept, they dreamed, they hurt, they enjoyed small triumphs. The courses their lives took mirrored that of so many other women of the Victorian age, and yet so singular in the way they ended. It is for them that I write this book. I do so in the hope that we may now hear their stories clearly and give back to them that which was so brutally taken away with their lives: their dignity.
Hallie Rubenhold (The Five: The Lives of Jack the Ripper's Women)
William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564 – died 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592 he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of the playing company the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others. Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the sixteenth century. Next he wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest examples in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights. Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime, and in 1623 two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's. Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare's genius, and the Victorians hero-worshipped Shakespeare with a reverence that George Bernard Shaw called "bardolatry". In the twentieth century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are consistently performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world. Source: Wikipedia
William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)
Energy was the ruling theme of Victorian science, as machines increasingly harnessed the forces of nature to do man's work. The concept is also present in the art and literature of the age, notably in the poems of William Blake. The Romantic movement was much interested in energy and its various transformations.
Jeremy Campbell (Grammatical Man: Information, Entropy, Language and Life)
Sunlight streamed in a steady flow, casting flecks of gold onto the floor, bathing my skin. I inhaled deeply. Already, the air inside my bedroom had been perfumed with nature. A breeze whispered softly and breathed carefully onto my skin.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
At this point, Mrs. Disher stepped in to say, if you thought that was scary, look at how poor people lived in the late twentieth century. Indeed, after ractives told them about the life of an inner-city Washington, D.C., child during the 1990s, most students had to agree they'd take a workhouse in pre-Victorian England over that any day.
Neal Stephenson (The Diamond Age)
Most archaeology in London these days is rescue archaeology – projects designed to preserve as much as possible from the relentless cash-driven redevelopment. It’s not a new problem. Ask a medievalist about Victorian cellars or an Iron Age specialist about medieval ploughing – but take snacks, because you’re going to be there for a while.
Ben Aaronovitch (Lies Sleeping (Rivers of London, #7))
Therefore, it came as a terrible shock to the Victorian age when Darwin, following his theory of common descent, incorporated the human species into the animal kingdom as a descendant of primate ancestors.
Ernst W. Mayr (What Evolution Is (Science Masters Series))
The world of shadows and superstition that was Victorian England, so well depicted in this 1871 tale, was unique. While the foundations of so much of our present knowledge of subjects like medicine, public health, electricity, chemistry and agriculture, were being, if not laid, at least mapped out, people could still believe in the existence of devils and demons. And why not? A good ghost story is pure entertainment. It was not until well into the twentieth century that ghost stories began to have a deeper significance and to become allegorical; in fact, to lose their charm. No mental effort is required to read 'The Weird Woman', no seeking for hidden meanings; there are no complexities of plot, no allegory on the state of the world. And so it should be. At what other point in literary history could a man, standing over the body of his fiancee, say such a line as this: 'Speak, hound! Or, by heaven, this night shall witness two murders instead of one!' Those were the days. (introduction to "The Weird Woman")
Hugh Lamb (Terror by Gaslight: More Victorian Tales of Terror)
It is largely because the free-thinkers, as a school, have hardly made up their minds whether they want to be more optimist or more pessimist than Christianity that their small but sincere movement has failed.
G.K. Chesterton (The Victorian Age in Literature)
The Romantic journey was usually a solitary one. Although the Romantic poets were closely connected with one another, and some collaborated in their work, they each had a strong individual vision. Romantic poets could not continue their quests for long or sustain their vision into later life. The power of the imagination and of inspiration did not last. Whereas earlier poets had patrons who financed their writing, the tradition of patronage was not extensive in the Romantic period and poets often lacked financial and other support. Keats, Shelley and Byron all died in solitary exile from England at a young age, their work left incomplete, non-conformists to the end. This coincides with the characteristic Romantic images of the solitary heroic individual, the spiritual outcast 'alone, alone, all, all alone' like Coleridge's Ancient Mariner and John Clare's 'I'; like Shelley's Alastor, Keats's Endymion, or Byron's Manfred, who reached beyond the normal social codes and normal human limits so that 'his aspirations/Have been beyond the dwellers of the earth'. Wordsworth, who lived to be an old man, wrote poems throughout his life in which his poetic vision is stimulated by a single figure or object set against a natural background. Even his projected final masterpiece was entitled The Recluse. The solitary journey of the Romantic poet was taken up by many Victorian and twentieth-century poets, becoming almost an emblem of the individual's search for identity in an ever more confused and confusing world.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
In some respects, the sexual mores of Victorian Britain replicated the mechanics of the age-defining steam engine. Blocking the flow of erotic energy creates ever-increasing pressure which is put to work through short, controlled bursts of productivity. Though he was wrong about a lot, it appears Sigmund Freud got it right when he observed that “civilization” is built largely on erotic energy that has been blocked, concentrated, accumulated, and redirected.
Christopher Ryan (Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships)
She was not in the body of a young woman but just as I remembered her: a little toddler with a beautiful smile. She reached out with her small hand, and I gripped her tiny fingers as I let go of the pain and sank deeper into the lake.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
They are worth more to us than the empty human shells we have taken them for; they were children who cried for their mothers, they were young women who fell in love; they endured childbirth, the death of parents; they laughed, and they celebrated Christmas. They argued with their siblings, they wept, they dreamed, they hurt, they enjoyed small triumphs. The courses their lives took mirrored that of so many other women of the Victorian age, and yet were so singular in the way they ended.
Hallie Rubenhold (The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper)
They passed a succession of granite monuments to the conquering magicians of the late Victorian age and the fallen heroes of the Great War, then a few monolithic sculptures representing Ideal Virtues (Patriotism, Respect for Authority, the Dutiful Wife).
Jonathan Stroud (The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus, #1))
For thousands of years, civilization did not lend itself to peaceful equalization. Across a wide range of societies and different levels of development, stability favored economic inequality. This was as true of Pharaonic Egypt as it was of Victorian England, as true of the Roman Empire as of the United States. Violent shocks were of paramount importance in disrupting the established order, in compressing the distribution of income and wealth, in narrowing the gap between rich and poor. Throughout recorded history, the most powerful leveling invariably resulted from the most powerful shocks. Four different kinds of violent ruptures have flattened inequality: mass mobilization warfare, transformative revolution, state failure, and lethal pandemics. I call these the Four Horsemen of Leveling. Just like their biblical counterparts, they went forth to “take peace from the earth” and “kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” Sometimes acting individually and sometimes in concert with one another, they produced outcomes that to contemporaries often seemed nothing short of apocalyptic. Hundreds of millions perished in their wake. And by the time the dust had settled, the gap between the haves and the have-nots had shrunk, sometimes dramatically.
Walter Scheidel (The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World, 74))
The Victorian era was an age of superlatives and larger-than-life characters, and as far as that goes, Dr. Wildman Whitehouse fit right in: what Victoria was to monarchs, Dickens to novelists, Burton to explorers, Robert E. Lee to generals, Dr. Wildman Whitehouse was to assholes.
Neal Stephenson (Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writing)
back in the middle ages they burned unruly women at the stake and out of the ashes of their bones and flesh rose the Enlightenment and Reason fresh and the white men declared there's no such thing as witches they're just crazy psycho-bitches but we certainly can't let them run free lock 'em up and throw away the key yeah they said: lock 'em up and throw away the key cause there's nothing scarier than a woman mad and/or aware of her own magic tragic how much violence is done in the name of science to ensure our silence in Victorian times they located suffering in our uterus in the blood in the soft internal organs took our pain our righteous rage they called it 'hysteria' and then Dr. Freud ignored women's horror stories herstories of abuse and rape and took a justified hatred of the penis and called it envy (he sold more books that way)
Leah Harris
Napoleon, who had an aversion to the moral laxity of the eighteenth century, which he blamed on the domination of society by women, was determined to reform family life on Roman, or perhaps rather on Corsican, principles. It was with him, not with Queen Victoria, that Victorian morality originated.
J. Christopher Herold (The Age of Napoleon)
The Victorian system used Darwinian techniques to create killers adapted to their prey, which was elegant and effective but led to the creation of killers that were simply too bizarre to have been thought up by humans, just as humans designing a world never would have thought up the naked mole rat.
Neal Stephenson (The Diamond Age)
It is too easy to think that ‘science’ is what happens now, that modernity and scientific thought are inseparable. Yet as Laura Snyder so brilliantly shows in this riveting picture of the first heroic age, the nineteenth century saw the invention of the computer, of electrical impulses, the harnessing of the power of steam – the birth of railways, statistics and technology. In ‘The Philosophical Breakfast Club’ she draws an endearing – almost domestic – picture of four scientific titans, and shows how – through their very ‘clubbability’ – they created the scientific basis on which the modern world stands.
Judith Flanders (Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England)
Showing little regard for the animals’ historical working roles, health, temperament, or well-being, Victorian dog breeders raced to mold dramatic new shapes for their pets. Producing dogs in the same way one might produce widgets on an assembly line held tremendous appeal in an age of massive industrialization.
Bronwen Dickey (Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon)
The courses their lives took mirrored that of so many other women of the Victorian age, and yet were so singular in the way they ended. It is for them that I write this book. I do so in the hope that we may now hear their stories clearly and give back to them that which was so brutally taken away with their lives: their dignity.
Hallie Rubenhold (The Five: The Lives of Jack the Ripper's Women)
I’ve had so many influences and sources of inspiration as an illustrator that it is impossible to name just one. I loved Aubrey Beardsley when I was a student, and then Edmund Dulac and other Golden Age illustrators made a big impact, as well as Victorian painters like Richard Dadd and Edward Burne-Jones. My long-term heroes though are Albretch Durer, Brueghel, Hieronymous Bosch, Jan Van Eyck, Leonardo, Botticelli, Rembrandt, Turner and Degas. What most of them have in common is brilliant draughtsmanship and a strong linear or graphic quality. Most are also printmakers. The one I keep going back to and who fascinates me the most is JMW Turner, the greatest watercolourist.
Alan Lee
All real good taste is gusto—the power of appreciating the presence—or the absence—of a particular and positive pleasure.
G.K. Chesterton (The Victorian Age in Literature)
Making friends is not a big deal. Replacing me with them after talking to them for only one bloody day is a big deal.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
He loved books as other men love women, or opium, or tobacco: they were as a soothing drug to make him forget life.
André Maurois (Disraeli: A Picture of the Victorian Age)
Were women being confined yet again to that alabaster pedestal so beloved of the Victorian age, when Woman as better-than-man gave men a license to be gleefully and enjoyably worse than women, while all the while proclaiming that they couldn’t help it because it was their nature? Were women to be condemned to virtue for life, slaves in the salt-mines of goodness?
Margaret Atwood
Adeline, who is the girl that she once was, the bright Victorian girl shut behind dark paneled doors with her thirteen, fifteen, eighteen years of life and a Greek lexicon. She is the girl stopped in time who could not speak or feel at the side of her dead mother’s bed. She keeps the cold, clear information of those days, unclouded by revision or the lies of age.
Norah Vincent (Adeline: A Novel of Virginia Woolf)
My wishing star glowed slightly and winked back at me. I could almost hear its voice, tinkling like wind chimes and church bells, reassuring me that everything would return to normal.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
she feels still that grasp upon her ankle as if it were a circlet of iron: the embodiment of matrimony. She would be pinned, like the museum butterflies. He would remain free to flutter.
Emmanuelle de Maupassant (The Gentlemen's Club)
I held a brief debate with myself as to whether I should change my ordinary attire for something smarter. At last I concluded it would be a waste of labour. "Doubtless," though I, "she is some stiff old maid ; for though the daughter of Madame Reuter, she may well number upwards of forty winters; besides, if it were otherwise, if she be both young and pretty, I am not handsome, and no dressing can make me so, therefore I'll go as I am." And off I started, cursorily glancing sideways as I passed the toilet-table, surmounted by a looking-glass: a thin irregular face I saw, with sunk, dark eyes under a large, square forehead, complexion destitute of bloom or attraction; something young, but not youthful, no object to win a lady's love, no butt for the shafts of Cupid.
Charlotte Brontë (The Professor)
I consider myself a “social ecologist,” concerned with man’s man-made environment the way the natural ecologist studies the biological environment.....the discipline itself boasts an old and distinguished lineage. Its greatest document is Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. But no one is as close to me in temperament, concepts, and approach as the mid-Victorian Englishman Walter Bagehot. Living (as I have) in an age of great social change, Bagehot first saw the emergence of new institutions: civil service and cabinet government, as cores of a functioning democracy, and banking as the center of a functioning economy. A hundred years after Bagehot, I was first to identify management as the new social institution of the emerging society of organizations and, a little later, to spot the emergence of knowledge as the new central resource, and knowledge workers as the new ruling class of a society that is not only “postindustrial” but postsocialist and, increasingly, post-capitalist. As it had been for Bagehot, for me too the tension between the need for continuity and the need for innovation and change was central to society and civilization.
Peter F. Drucker (The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done)
La noche anterior había llovido y la tierra estaba mojada, me tumbé sobre la hierba, bajo un viejo roble, y cerré los ojos. Creo que el ruido de los árboles me acercaba a Dios, quiero decir, a ti.
Antonio Heras (Tus palabras sin sentido)
The whites who administered Native American subjugation claimed to be recruiting the Indians to join them in a truer, more coherent worldview—but whether it was about spirituality and the afterlife, the role of women, the nature of glaciers, the age of the world, or the theory of evolution, these white Victorians were in a world topsy-turvy with change, uncertainty and controversy. Deference was paid to Christianity and honest agricultural toil, but more than few questioned the former, and most, as the gold rushes, confidence men, and lionized millionaires proved, would gladly escape the latter. So the attempt to make Indians into Christian agriculturists was akin to those contemporary efforts whereby charities send cast-off clothing to impoverished regions: the Indians were being handed a system that was worn out...
Rebecca Solnit (River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West)
Few poets better convey the uneasy transition from Victorianism to Modernism than Thomas Hardy. His novels, written between 1870 and 1895, made him not only the recorder of his distinctive region of 'Wessex', but the explorer of the transition of lives and minds from the age of traditional values and religious certainties to the age of godlessness and modern tragedy, a transition sometimes described as 'the clash of the modern'.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
I stood at the grassy edge and tentatively dipped my toe into the water. I watched the ripple spread and break the perfect reflection before composing itself. The ripple then rushed towards a mass of rocks to one side.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
As we drifted away from the Tower Bridge, I saw a single silhouette standing against the bright lamplight. Even now when I was nearly asleep, I could recognise her. Her shoulders were hunched up as if she was upset. Whether she was upset that she had nearly killed me or that she had let me get away, I was unsure. Then she turned around and walked to join the other silhouettes standing in a group farther back. Now I could not see which one was Rose – they were all joint together to make one.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
It would be pleasant to believe that the age of pessimism is now coming to a close, and that its end is marked by the same author who marked its beginning: Aldous Huxley. After thirty years of trying to find salvation in mysticism, and assimilating the Wisdom of the East, Huxley published in 1962 a new constructive utopia, The Island. In this beautiful book he created a grand synthesis between the science of the West and the Wisdom of the East, with the same exceptional intellectual power which he displayed in his Brave New World. (His gaminerie is also unimpaired; his close union of eschatology and scatology will not be to everybody's tastes.) But though his Utopia is constructive, it is not optimistic; in the end his island Utopia is destroyed by the sort of adolescent gangster nationalism which he knows so well, and describes only too convincingly. This, in a nutshell, is the history of thought about the future since Victorian days. To sum up the situation, the sceptics and the pessimists have taken man into account as a whole; the optimists only as a producer and consumer of goods. The means of destruction have developed pari passu with the technology of production, while creative imagination has not kept pace with either. The creative imagination I am talking of works on two levels. The first is the level of social engineering, the second is the level of vision. In my view both have lagged behind technology, especially in the highly advanced Western countries, and both constitute dangers.
Dennis Gabor (Inventing the Future)
as an almost legendary figure. To his child she had always been presented as the beloved beauty of a golden age, a link with the great Victorians, a creature larger than life in power and importance, so that all through these last perturbing weeks Frances had comforted herself with the recollection that if the worse came to the worst, even though Meyrick himself was half across the world, there was always Gabrielle up at Hampstead. It was hard to realise now that the moment of appeal had come, that she was
Margery Allingham (Black Plumes)
It is amusing to note that when Huxley was charged with being rhetorical, he expressed his horror of "plastering the fair face of truth with that pestilent cosmetic, rhetoric," which is itself about as well-plastered a piece of rhetoric as Ruskin himself could have managed.
G.K. Chesterton (The Victorian Age in Literature)
Girls barely budding open their legs to make a living, alongside the toothless and rancid of breath; hair thick with lice, they all find customers if the price is right, against the wall or on sheets well-soiled. Their holes cost but a shilling. Skins grow thick and claws sharp.
Emmanuelle de Maupassant (The Gentlemen's Club)
No one in life, not the wartiest old dame in Aries, not the wrinkledest, stoopingest Cossack, not the pony-tailedest, venerablest old Mandarin in China, not Methuselah himself, will ever be older than a group of seniors at school. They are like Victorian photographs of sporting teams. No matter how much more advanced in years you are now than the age of those in the photograph, they will always look a world older, always seem more capable of growing a bigger moustache and holding more alcohol. The sophistication with which they sit and the air of maturity they give off is unmatchable by you. Ever.
Stephen Fry (Moab Is My Washpot)
Why, all our art treasures of to-day are only the dug-up commonplaces of three or four hundred years ago. I wonder if there is real intrinsic beauty in the old soup-plates, beer-mugs, and candle-snuffers that we prize so now, or if it is only the halo of age glowing around them that gives them their charms in our eyes. The “old blue” that we hang about our walls as ornaments were the common every-day household utensils of a few centuries ago; and the pink shepherds and the yellow shepherdesses that we hand round now for all our friends to gush over, and pretend they understand, were the unvalued mantel-ornaments that the mother of the eighteenth century would have given the baby to suck when he cried. Will it be the same in the future? Will the prized treasures of to-day always be the cheap trifles of the day before? Will rows of our willow-pattern dinner-plates be ranged above the chimneypieces of the great in the years 2000 and odd? Will the white cups with the gold rim and the beautiful gold flower inside (species unknown), that our Sarah Janes now break in sheer light-heartedness of spirit, be carefully mended, and stood upon a bracket, and dusted only by the lady of the house? That china dog that ornaments the bedroom of my furnished lodgings. It is a white dog. Its eyes blue. Its nose is a delicate red, with spots. Its head is painfully erect, its expression is amiability carried to verge of imbecility. I do not admire it myself. Considered as a work of art, I may say it irritates me. Thoughtless friends jeer at it, and even my landlady herself has no admiration for it, and excuses its presence by the circumstance that her aunt gave it to her. But in 200 years’ time it is more than probable that that dog will be dug up from somewhere or other, minus its legs, and with its tail broken, and will be sold for old china, and put in a glass cabinet. And people will pass it round, and admire it. They will be struck by the wonderful depth of the colour on the nose, and speculate as to how beautiful the bit of the tail that is lost no doubt was. We, in this age, do not see the beauty of that dog. We are too familiar with it. It is like the sunset and the stars: we are not awed by their loveliness because they are common to our eyes. So it is with that china dog. In 2288 people will gush over it. The making of such dogs will have become a lost art. Our descendants will wonder how we did it, and say how clever we were. We shall be referred to lovingly as “those grand old artists that flourished in the nineteenth century, and produced those china dogs.” The “sampler” that the eldest daughter did at school will be spoken of as “tapestry of the Victorian era,” and be almost priceless. The blue-and-white mugs of the present-day roadside inn will be hunted up, all cracked and chipped, and sold for their weight in gold, and rich people will use them for claret cups; and travellers from Japan will buy up all the “Presents from Ramsgate,” and “Souvenirs of Margate,” that may have escaped destruction, and take them back to Jedo as ancient English curios.
Jerome K. Jerome (Complete Works of Jerome K. Jerome)
It’s important to keep in mind that art and literature belong to the last generation and to future generations as much they do to ours. We have no more right to edit or expurgate the classics to suit our tastes than the Victorians would have had to invade the Uffizi Gallery and paint a frock over Botticelli’s Venus.
Meghan Cox Gurdon (The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction)
Moral reforms and deteriorations are moved by large forces, and they are mostly caused by reactions from the habits of a preceding period. Backwards and forwards swings the great pendulum, and its alternations are not determined by a few distinguished folk clinging to the end of it. —Sir Charles Petrie, THE VICTORIANS
Neal Stephenson (The Diamond Age)
In the world of The Age of Innocence, a financial disaster or moral scandal would permanently exile a guest from the finest dinner tables. In contemporary New York, a mere change of fashion can eliminate a place setting; therefore, the need to maintain a rigidity not of morals, but of taste, seems all the more desperate.
Wendy Wasserstein
The cook says, ‘As a young lass, I thought nothing as important as the love of a brave and ‘andsome man; now I’m an old crone, I know full well that it is, but only when he’s moneyed enough to keep you. The young may think they can live on sweet embraces but they won’t fill your belly – or not as you may be intending at any rate!
Emmanuelle de Maupassant (The Gentlemen's Club)
The Modern Girl with the lipstick and the cocktail is as much a rebel against the Woman's Rights Woman of the '80's, with her stiff stick-up collars and strict teetotalism, as the latter was a rebel against the Early Victorian lady of the languid waltz tunes and the album full of quotations from Byron: or as the last, again, was a rebel against a Puritan mother to whom the waltz was a wild orgy and Byron the Bolshevist of his age. Trace even the Puritan mother back through history and she represents a rebellion against the Cavalier laxity of the English Church, which was at first a rebel against the Catholic civilisation, which had been a rebel against the Pagan civilisation.
G.K. Chesterton (St. Thomas Aquinas)
She first peered into its fascinating cases of beetles and butterflies at the age of six, in the company of her father. She recalls her pity at each occupant pinned for display. It was no great leap to draw the same conclusion of ladies: similarly bound and trussed, pinned and contained, with the objective of being admired, in all their gaudy beauty.
Emmanuelle de Maupassant (The Gentlemen's Club)
What the hell is this stuff?" he muttered, frowning at the oily spot on the linen cloth. "Pearlman slathered it on me this morning." "It's macassar oil. Gentlemen use it to keep their hair neat. Nicholas used it," she added pointedly. "Well, tomorrow he's giving it up. I smell like a rotten apple." "You do not. And I think it looks rather nice." He sent her an incredulous look. "I look like an otter. And everything I put my head against gets greasy." "That's why someone invented the antimacassar," she told him, almost smiling. "The-aha!" He laughed as he made the connection. "Of course. First they invent something stupid, then something ugly to make up for it. We live in a wondrous age, Annie.
Patricia Gaffney (Thief of Hearts)
In 1964, long-playing vinyl records sounded great. It was the age of high fidelity, and even your parents were likely to have a good-sounding console or tube components and a nice set of speakers, A&R, KLH, and so on. All the telephones worked, and they sounded good, too. Rarely did anyone ever lose a call, and that was usually on an overseas line. Anyone could work a TV set, even your grandmother. Off, on, volume, change the channel, period. By then, just about everyone had an aerial on the roof, and the signal was strong: ten, twelve simple channels of programming, not all good, but lots of swell black-and-white movies from the thirties and forties, all day and most of the night. No soul-deadening porn or violence. Decent news programs and casual entertainment featuring intelligent, charming celebrities like Steve Allen, Groucho Marx, Jack Paar, Jack Benny, Rod Serling, and Ernie Kovacs. Yeah, call me old Uncle Fuckwad, I don’t care. William Blake’s “dark Satanic mills” of the industrial revolution may have enslaved the bodies of Victorian citizens, but information technology is a pure mindfuck. The TV Babies have morphed into the Palm People. For example, those people in the audience who can’t experience the performance unless they’re sending instant videos to their friends: Look at me, I must be alive, I can prove it, I’m filming this shit. You know what? I refuse to look at you. You’re a corpse. And you prove that every day, with everything you do and everything you say. Wake up, ya dope! Outside
Donald Fagen (Eminent Hipsters)
All of a sudden I am seven years of age again. Mam is lifting quince pips with a tin skimmer. She chops the flesh and gives me the cores that I may suck at the golden clinging fruit, which is melting soft, sweet, perfumed, and slips down my throat like cream. "My mother always left the quinces in their liquor overnight," I say tentatively. "With the pips and cores. She said it set firmer and faster like that.
Annabel Abbs (Miss Eliza's English Kitchen)
It is worth pausing for a second to reflect on Snow’s willingness to pursue his investigation this far. Here we have a man who had reached the very pinnacle of Victorian medical practice—attending on the queen of England with a procedure that he himself had pioneered—who was nonetheless willing to spend every spare moment away from his practice knocking on hundreds of doors in some of London’s most dangerous neighborhoods, seeking out specifically those houses that had been attacked by the most dread disease of the age. But without that tenacity, without that fearlessness, without that readiness to leave behind the safety of professional success and royal patronage, and venture into the streets, his “grand experiment”—as Snow came to call it—would have gone nowhere. The miasma theory would have remained unchallenged.
Steven Johnson (The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World)
The ancient triumph of Christianity proved to be the single greatest cultural transformation our world has ever seen. Without it the entire history of Late Antiquity would not have happened as it did. We would never have had the Middle Ages, the Reformation, the Renaissance, or modernity as we know it. There could never have been a Matthew Arnold. Or any of the Victorian poets. Or any of the other authors of our canon: no Milton, no Shakespeare, no Chaucer. We would have had none of our revered artists: Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, or Rembrandt. And none of our brilliant composers: Mozart, Handel, or Bach. To be sure, we would have had other Miltons, Michelangelos, and Mozarts in their places, and it is impossible to know whether these would have been better or worse. But they would have been incalculably different.
Bart D. Ehrman (The Triumph of Christianity: How a Forbidden Religion Swept the World)
four major infections that plagued hospitals in the nineteenth century. The other three were hospital gangrene (ulcers that lead to decay of flesh, muscle, and bone), septicemia (blood poisoning), and pyemia (development of pus-filled abscesses). Any one of these conditions could prove fatal depending on a wide range of factors, not least the age and general health of the sufferer. The increase in infection and suppuration brought on
Lindsey Fitzharris (The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine)
The Hotel dining-room, like most of the others I was to find in the Highlands, had its walls covered with pictures of all sorts of wild game, living or in the various postures of death that are produced by sport. Between these pictures the walls were alert with the stuffed heads of deer, furnished with antlers of every degree of magnificence. A friend of mine has a theory that these pictures of dying birds and wounded beasts are intended to whet the diner's appetite, and perhaps they did in the more lusty age of Victoria; but I found they had the opposite effect on me, and had to keep my eyes from straying too often to them. In one particular hotel this idea was carried out with such thoroughness that the walls of its dining room looked like a shambles, they presented such an overwhelming array of bleeding birds, beasts and fishes. To find these abominations on the walls of Highland hotels, among a people of such delicacy in other things, is peculiarly revolting, and rubs in with superfluous force that this is a land whose main contemporary industry is the shooting down of wild creatures; not production of any kind but wholesale destruction. This state of things is not the fault of the Highlanders, but of the people who have bought their country and come to it chiefly to kill various forms of life.
Edwin Muir (Scottish Journey)
Miss Boyd’s voyages to Greenland were conducted during a transitional period in polar exploration between “the Golden Age,” in which conquering the poles was accomplished by overland routes and by sea, and the modern technological era heralded by early polar flights by Amundsen, Ellsworth, and Byrd. Gillis wrote that Louise Arner Boyd “represented one of the last revivals of a Victorian phenomenon the wealthy explorer who poured a personal fortune into expeditions aimed at advancing science and satisfying profound personal curiosity.” [3] In rejecting a sedate and sheltered life as a wealthy wife and mother, she defied societal expectations. But she also challenged the ideal of a polar explorer as defined by manliness, stoicism, and heroism. Her seven daring expeditions to northern Norway and Greenland between 1926 and 1955 paved the way for later female polar explorers,
Joanna Kafarowski (The Polar Adventures of a Rich American Dame: A Life of Louise Arner Boyd)
And that date, too, is far off?' 'Far off; when it comes, think your end in this world is at hand!' 'How and what is the end? Look east, west, south and north.' 'In the north, where you never yet trod, towards the point whence your instincts have warned you, there a spectre will seize you. 'Tis Death! I see a ship - it is haunted - 'tis chased - it sails on. Baffled navies sail after that ship. It enters the regions of ice. It passes a sky red with meteors. Two moons stand on high, over ice-reefs. I see the ship locked between white defiles - they are ice-rocks. I see the dead strew the decks - stark and livid, green mold on their limbs. All are dead, but one man - it is you! But years, though so slowly they come, have then scathed you. There is the coming of age on your brow, and the will is relaxed in the cells of the brain. Still that will, though enfeebled, exceeds all that man knew before you, through the will you live on, gnawed with famine; and nature no longer obeys you in that death-spreading region; the sky is a sky of iron, and the air has iron clamps, and the ice-rocks wedge in the ship. Hark how it cracks and groans. Ice will imbed it as amber imbeds a straw. And a man has gone forth, living yet, from the ship and its dead; and he has clambered up the spikes of an iceberg, and the two moons gaze down on his form. That man is yourself; and terror is on you - terror; and terror has swallowed your will. And I see swarming up the steep ice-rock, grey grisly things. The bears of the north have scented their quarry - they come near you and nearer, shambling and rolling their bulk, and in that day every moment shall seem to you longer than the centuries through which you have passed. And heed this - after life, moments continued make the bliss or the hell of eternity.' 'Hush,' said the whisper; 'but the day, you assure me, is far off - very far! I go back to the almond and rose of Damascus! - sleep!' ("The House And The Brain
Edward Bulwer-Lytton (Reign of Terror Volume 2: Great Victorian Horror Stories)
...I shall let [Anne] Wallace put the case herself, at what I think is necessary length: 'As travel in general becomes physically easier, faster, and less expensive, more people want and are able to arrive at more destinations with less unpleasant awareness of their travel process. At the same time the availability of an increasing range of options in conveyance, speed, price, and so forth actually encouraged comparisons of these different modes...and so an increasingly positive awareness of process that even permitted semi-nostalgic glances back at the bad old days...Then, too, although local insularity was more and more threatened...people also quite literally became more accustomed to travel and travellers, less fearful of 'foreign' ways, so that they gradually became able to regard travel as an acceptable recreation. Finally, as speeds increased and costs decreased, it simply ceased to be true that the mass of people were confined to that circle of a day's walk: they could afford both the time and the money to travel by various means and for purely recreational purposes...And as walking became a matter of choice, it became a possible positive choice: since the common person need not necessarily be poor. Thus, as awareness of process became regarded as advantageous, 'economic necessity' became only one possible reading (although still sometimes a correct one) in a field of peripatetic meanings that included 'aesthetic choice'.' It sounds a persuasive case. It is certainly possible that something like the shift in consciousness that Wallace describes may have taken place by the 'end' (as conventionally conceived) of the Romantic period, and influenced the spread of pedestrianism in the 1820s and 1830s; even more likely that such a shift was instrumental in shaping the attitudes of Victorian writing in the railway age, and helped generate the apostolic fervour with which writers like Leslie Stephen and Robert Louis Stevenson treated the walking tour. But it fails to account for the rise of pedestrianism as I have narrated it.
Robin Jarvis (Romantic Writing and Pedestrian Travel)
The underlying assumption of this system is that wealth, leisure, comfort, health, and a long life belonged by right only to the dominant minority; while hard work and constant deprivation and denial, a 'slaves' diet and an early death, became the lot of the mass of men. Once this division was established, is it any wonder that the dreams of the working classes throughout history, at least in those relatively happy periods when they dared to tell each other fairy stories, was a desire for idle days and for a surfeit of material goods? These desires were kept from an explosive eruption, perhaps, by the institution of occasional feasts and carnivals. But the dreams of an existence which counterfeited closely that of the ruling classes, as the brummagen jewelry worn by the poor in Victorian England imitated in brass the gold baubles of the upper classes, have remained alive from age to age: indeed they are still an active ingredient in the fantasy of effortless affluence that currently hovers like a pink smog over Megalopolis.
Lewis Mumford (Technics and Human Development (The Myth of the Machine, Vol 1))
And then I knew that despite all the pain and hard work all of us had gone through, despite the sadness and anger we felt, in the end, everything was going to be fine. But I did not know when the end was, or if it was even near. But that did not matter. I preferred to look towards it in anticipation rather than worry about it. One new day equalled to one new adventure. And right now, I still had plenty of days left in my life. So I did not decide to sit down and plan out my life. Instead, I decided to sit back, relax, and see where life would take me.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language, and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592 he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of the playing company the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others. Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the sixteenth century. Next he wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest examples in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights. Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime, and in 1623 two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's. Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare's genius, and the Victorians hero-worshipped Shakespeare with a reverence that George Bernard Shaw called "bardolatry". In the twentieth century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are consistently performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world. Source: Wikipedia
William Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)
Woman must come of age by herself. This is the essence of “coming of age”—to learn how to stand alone. She must learn not to depend on another, nor to feel she must prove her strength by competing with another. In the past, she has swung between these two opposite poles of dependence and competition, of Victorianism and Feminism. Both extremes throw her off balance; neither is the center, the true center of being a whole woman. She must find her true center alone. She must become whole. She must, it seems to me, as a prelude to any “two solitudes” relationship, follow the advice of the poet to become “world to oneself for another’s sake.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh (Gift from the Sea)
Near the end of the war, my father was discharged, and we returned to our home in Thomasville, the seat of Thomas County, Georgia. Thomasville was named after General Jet Thomas, a militia commander during the War of 1812. Once founded, the population swelled quickly to over eighteen thousand by 1900. Since then, the city population has been artfully kept near that figure to take advantage of state laws that apply only to cities of a certain size (for instance, the city receives a subsidy from the state to support the hospital). The city limits are demarcated by a Victorian-age boulevard; outside the city limits, the population has grown to about fifty thousand.
Cecil Rogers (Ride The Tide: adventures of a pot smuggler and tide rider)
The men and women of the Golden Age, Hesiod wrote, lived in an eternal spring, for hundreds of years, always youthful, fed on acorns from a great oak, on wild fruits, on honey. In the Silver Age, which is less written about, the people lived for 100 years as children, without growing up, and then quite suddenly aged and died. The Fabians and the social scientists, writers and teachers saw, in a way earlier generations had not, that children were people, with identities and desires and intelligences. They saw that they were neither dolls, nor toys, nor miniature adults. They saw, many of them, that children needed freedom, needed not only to learn, and be good, but to play and be wild. But they saw this, so many of them, out of a desire of their own for a perpetual childhood, a Silver Age.
A.S. Byatt (The Children's Book)
I suspected that most marriages were more complicated than couples tended to let on. That summer, it seemed like every week brought news of another pair in our community who were splitting up. They were all around our age, most with little kids, trying to run their own businesses in a small economy. The evidence of those breakups directly contradicted the rosy way relationships were portrayed on Facebook, in public. I began to believe that future generations would study how we represent our long-term partnerships, and call us on our lies, in the same way we look at the way the Victorians depicted sex and know that it simply wasn't like that, not behind closed doors or in the hayloft. We hide marital conflict with the same sense of decorum. We'd do more good if we were honest and set realistic expectations for what it's like in the long run.
Kristin Kimball (Good Husbandry)
They both loved her, of course. They’d probably still love her even if they knew she’d seduced him. Yes, because he was so much the wounded party in this case. Taken advantage of by a skilled and dangerous seductress whom he was obviously no match for. Pull yourself together, Ryeton. You sound like a frigging little girl! Maxwell arrived right on time, and cheerfully announced by Westford. Grey’s entire face-from his scar to the forced smile he wore-began to ache at the sight of the younger man. Maxwell had to be nine and twenty at best. He was tall and dapper, and just charming enough so as not to seem threatening. It was a part Grey played very well at the same age, only he’d been a wolf masquerading as a harmless spaniel. He wasn’t so sure the same couldn’t be said for Maxwell. He had no choice but to shake the man’s hand and make small talk before watching him take Rose’s arm and lead her away, both of them smiling like idiots.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
Many wild foods have their charms, but the dearest one to my heart - my favorite fruit in the whole world - is the thimbleberry. Imagine the sweetest strawberry you've ever tasted, crossed with the tartest raspberry you've ever eaten. Give in the texture of silk velvet and make it melt to sweet juice the moment it hints your tongue. Shape it like the age-old sewing accessory that gives the fruit its name, and make it just big enough to cup a dainty fingertip. That delicious jewel of a fruit is a thimbleberry. They're too fragile to ship and too perishable to store, so they are one of those few precious things in life that can't be commoditized, and for me they always symbolize the essence of grabbing joy while I can. When it rains in thimbleberry season, the delicate berries get so damp that even the gentlest pressure crushes them, so instead of bringing them home as mush, I lick each one of my fingers as soon as it is picked. These sweet berries are treasure beyond price...
Sarah A. Chrisman (This Victorian Life: Modern Adventures in Nineteenth-Century Culture, Cooking, Fashion, and Technology)
The 1890s were apprentice years for Yeats. Though he played with Indian and Irish mythology, his symbolism really developed later. The decade was for him, as a poet, the years of lyric, of the Rhymers’ Club, of those contemporaries whom he dubbed the ‘tragic generation’. ‘I have known twelve men who killed themselves,’ Arthur Symons looked back from his middle-aged madness, reflecting on the decade of which he was the doyen. The writers and artists of the period lived hectically and recklessly. Ernest Dowson (1867–1900) (one of the best lyricists of them all – ‘I cried for madder music and for stronger wine’) died from consumption at thirty-two; Lionel Johnson (1867–1902), a dipsomaniac, died aged thirty-five from a stroke. John Davidson committed suicide at fifty-two; Oscar Wilde, disgraced and broken by prison and exile, died at forty-six; Aubrey Beardsley died at twenty-six. This is not to mention the minor figures of the Nineties literary scene: William Theodore Peters, actor and poet, who starved to death in Paris; Hubert Crankanthorpe, who threw himself in the Thames; Henry Harland, editor of The Yellow Book, who died of consumption aged forty-three, or Francis Thompson, who fled the Hound of Heaven ‘down the nights and down the days’ and who died of the same disease aged forty-eight. Charles Conder (1868–1909), water-colourist and rococo fan-painter, died in an asylum aged forty-one.
A.N. Wilson (The Victorians)
Dio, che stupido era stato a lasciarsi andare alla collera! Non era così che sarebbe riuscito a proteggerla. Perché, se non poteva averla, almeno avrebbe fatto di tutto per tenerla sotto la sua ala protettrice, come un pulcino indifeso. Per la verità, più che un pulcino indifeso in quel momento gli parve una gatta pronta a graffiare. Quando si decise a parlare, la sua voce uscì controllata e bassa. «Camille, state prendendo questa storia del giornalismo troppo seriamente…» La lingua di lei scattò come una lama acuminata. «Dal momento che mi pagate per farlo, dovreste esserne soddisfatto.» Già. Frank scosse la testa, irritato dalla logica inattaccabile di lei, poi si alzò e si sedette al suo fianco, abbastanza da poterne respirare il calore e il profumo. Per un istante temette che se ne andasse, ma invece rimase ferma, le mani in grembo, lo sguardo basso. «Voi non potete capire, Mr Raleigh…» «Cosa, di grazia?» «Cosa questo lavoro significhi per me…» Lui deglutì, cercando di non rispondere in modo affrettato, cercando di assorbire ogni più piccolo particolare di lei. Le mani sottili, la nuca bianca disegnata da alcuni riccioli sfuggiti allo chignon, il profilo perfetto, le lunghe ciglia, il seno armonioso che si muoveva al ritmo del respiro accelerato. Sospirando, si passò la mano fra i capelli e distolse lo sguardo prima che gli saltassero in testa delle pessime idee. «In effetti, non riesco a capire cosa significhi per voi. Non è che un lavoro, in fondo. Spiegatemelo, vi prego, Miss Brontee.» Con lentezza Camille si girò verso di lui, gli occhi che brillavano. «Ecco… significa tutto.»
Viviana Giorgi (Un amore di fine secolo)
There’s just one thing I don’t understand,” she remarked, setting the periodical aside for a moment. “And that is?” She tucked her skirts around her legs, denying him further glimpses of her ankles. “Would you by chance know what gamahuching is?” Grey would have thought himself far beyond the age of blushing, but the heat in his cheeks was unmistakable. “Good lord, Rose.” His voice was little more than a rasp. “That is hardly something a young woman brings up in casual conversation.” Oh, but he could show her what gamahuching was. He’d be all too happy to crawl between those trim ankles and climb upward until he found the slit in her drawers… Rose shrugged. “I suppose it might be offensive to someone of your age, but women aren’t as sheltered as they once were, Grey. If you won’t provide a definition, I’m sure Mr. Maxwell will when I see him tonight.” And with that threat tossed out between them, the little baggage returned her attention to her naughty reading. His age? What did she think he was, an ancient? Or was she merely trying to bait him? Tease him? Well, two could play at that game. And he refused to think of Kellan Maxwell, the bastard, educating her on such matters. “I believe you’ve mistaken me if you think I find gamahuching offensive,” he replied smoothly, easing himself down onto the blanket beside her. “I have quite the opposite view.” Beneath the high collar of her day gown, Rose’s throat worked as she swallowed. “Oh?” “Yes.” He braced one hand flat against the blanket near her hip, leaning closer as though they were co-conspirators. “But I’m afraid the notion might seem distasteful to a lady of your inexperience and sheltered upbringing.” Doe eyes narrowed. “If I am not appalled by the practice of frigging, why would anything else done between two adults in the course of making love offend me?” Christ, she had the sexual vocabulary of a whore and the naivete of a virgin. There were so many things that people could do to each other that very well could offend her-hell, some even offended him. As for frigging, that just made him think of his fingers deep inside her wet heat, her own delicate hand around his cock, which of course was rearing its head like an attention-seeking puppy. He forced a casual shrug. Let her think he wasn’t the least bit affected by the conversation. Hopefully she wouldn’t look at his crotch. “Gamahuching is the act of giving pleasure to a woman with one’s mouth and tongue.” Finally his beautiful innocent seductress blushed. She glanced down at the magazine in her hands, obviously reimagining some of what she had read. “Oh.” Then, her gaze came back to his. “Thank you.” Thank God she hadn’t asked if it was pleasurable because Grey wasn’t sure his control could have withstood that. Still, glutton for punishment that he was, he held her gaze. “Anything else you would like to ask me?” Rose shifted on the blanket. Embarrassed or aroused? “No, I think that’s all I wanted to know.” “Be careful, Rose,” he advised as he slowly rose to his feet once more. He had to keep his hands in front of him to disguise the hardness in his trousers. Damn thing didn’t show any sign of standing down either. “Such reading may lead to further curiosity, which can lead to rash behavior. I would hate to see you compromise yourself, or give your affection to the wrong man.” She met his gaze evenly, with a strange light in her eyes that unsettled him. “Have you stopped to consider Grey, that I may have done that already?” And since that remark rendered him so completely speechless, he turned on his heel and walked away.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
Our patients predict the culture by living out consciously what the masses of people are able to keep unconscious for the time being. The neurotic is cast by destiny into a Cassandra role. In vain does Cassandra, sitting on the steps of the palace at Mycenae when Agamemnon brings her back from Troy, cry, “Oh for the nightingale’s pure song and a fate like hers!” She knows, in her ill-starred life, that “the pain flooding the song of sorrow is [hers] alone,” and that she must predict the doom she sees will occur there. The Mycenaeans speak of her as mad, but they also believe she does speak the truth, and that she has a special power to anticipate events. Today, the person with psychological problems bears the burdens of the conflicts of the times in his blood, and is fated to predict in his actions and struggles the issues which will later erupt on all sides in the society. The first and clearest demonstration of this thesis is seen in the sexual problems which Freud found in his Victorian patients in the two decades before World War I. These sexual topics‒even down to the words‒were entirely denied and repressed by the accepted society at the time. But the problems burst violently forth into endemic form two decades later after World War II. In the 1920's, everybody was preoccupied with sex and its functions. Not by the furthest stretch of the imagination can anyone argue that Freud "caused" this emergence. He rather reflected and interpreted, through the data revealed by his patients, the underlying conflicts of the society, which the “normal” members could and did succeed in repressing for the time being. Neurotic problems are the language of the unconscious emerging into social awareness. A second, more minor example is seen in the great amount of hostility which was found in patients in the 1930's. This was written about by Horney, among others, and it emerged more broadly and openly as a conscious phenomenon in our society a decade later. A third major example may be seen in the problem of anxiety. In the late 1930's and early 1940's, some therapists, including myself, were impressed by the fact that in many of our patients anxiety was appearing not merely as a symptom of repression or pathology, but as a generalized character state. My research on anxiety, and that of Hobart Mowrer and others, began in the early 1940's. In those days very little concern had been shown in this country for anxiety other than as a symptom of pathology. I recall arguing in the late 1940's, in my doctoral orals, for the concept of normal anxiety, and my professors heard me with respectful silence but with considerable frowning. Predictive as the artists are, the poet W. H. Auden published his Age of Anxiety in 1947, and just after that Bernstein wrote his symphony on that theme. Camus was then writing (1947) about this “century of fear,” and Kafka already had created powerful vignettes of the coming age of anxiety in his novels, most of them as yet untranslated. The formulations of the scientific establishment, as is normal, lagged behind what our patients were trying to tell us. Thus, at the annual convention of the American Psychopathological Association in 1949 on the theme “Anxiety,” the concept of normal anxiety, presented in a paper by me, was still denied by most of the psychiatrists and psychologists present. But in the 1950's a radical change became evident; everyone was talking about anxiety and there were conferences on the problem on every hand. Now the concept of "normal" anxiety gradually became accepted in the psychiatric literature. Everybody, normal as well as neurotic, seemed aware that he was living in the “age of anxiety.” What had been presented by the artists and had appeared in our patients in the late 30's and 40's was now endemic in the land.
Rollo May (Love and Will)
Turgenev boiled it down to its essentials: ‘I know that she is not attractive but when I am with her I do not see this.
Kathryn Hughes (Victorians Undone: Tales of the Flesh in the Age of Decorum)
mansion. The place had been beautiful once, I’d bet—all Victorian gardens and turrets, wide sweeping porches and an expansive front lawn. But now it gave me a chill every time I passed it, and I headed away, my lungs screaming. A group of boys on bikes pedaled past me in the other direction, cackling and hooting about whatever boys Dan’s age cackled and hooted about. I ignored them but glanced over my shoulder to see them drop their bikes outside the gates of the dilapidated mansion. They were up to no good, I could feel it, and since I thought I recognized a couple of them as Dan’s friends,
Delancey Stewart (Falling into Forever (Singletree #5))
Nevertheless, by the 1980s and ’90s it was clear that immortality was not in fact around the corner and the assurances of the medical profession grew somewhat more modest. Most researchers no longer spoke of curing old age, but, instead, of “compressing” it: of shortening the natural period of ache and pain and disability and dementia that precedes active dying. The idea was that instead of experiencing long stretches of senescence, we could mobilize the forces of science and medicine to let us live our best lives until—snap. Our abrupt end. There was, Nuland wrote, “a nice Victorian reticence in denying the probability of a miserable prelude to mortality.” Today, even this compression of morbidity seems illusory. In truth, increases in life expectancy have been accompanied by more years of age-induced disability. Aging has slowed down, rather than sped up. Still, and in spite of evidence to the contrary, the heady promise of a curtailed old age endures in the popular imagination. “Compression of morbidity is a quintessentially American idea,” the physician and bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel wrote, in a viral 2014 Atlantic essay called “Why I Hope to Die at 75.” “It promises a kind of fountain of youth until the ever-receding time of death.
Katie Engelhart (The Inevitable: Dispatches on the Right to Die)
But traveling faster than light would require infinite energy; it is possible on paper, not in practice. More recently, physicists have theorized other ways that physical travel into the past could be achieved, but they are still exotic and expensive. A technological civilization thousands or more years in advance of our own, one able to harness the energy of its whole galaxy, could create a wormhole linking different points in the fabric of spacetime and send a spaceship through it.8 It is an idea explored widely in science fiction and depicted vividly in Christopher Nolan’s 2014 film Interstellar. But all this is academic for our purposes. For Gleick, what we are really talking about with time travel is a thought experiment about the experiencer—the passenger—in a novel, disjointed relationship to the external world. We can readily perform feats of “mental time travel,” or at least simulate such feats, as well as experience a dissociation between our internal subjective sense of time and the flux of things around us and even our own bodies.9 According to Gleick, part of what suddenly facilitated four-dimensional thinking in both popular writing and the sciences was the changing experience of time in an accelerating society. The Victorian age, with its steam engines and bewildering pace of urban living, increased these experiences of dissociation, and they have only intensified since then. Time travel, Gleick argues, is basically just a metaphor for modernity, and a nifty premise upon which to base literary and cinematic fantasies that repair modernity’s traumas. It also shines a light on how confused we all are about time. The most commonly voiced objection to time travel—and with it, precognition—is that any interaction between the future and past would change the past, and thus create a different future. The familiar term is the grandfather paradox: You can’t go back in time and kill your grandfather because then you wouldn’t have been born to go back in time and kill your grandfather (leaving aside for the moment the assumed inevitability of wanting to kill your grandfather, which is an odd assumption). The technical term for meddling in the past this way is “bilking,” on the analogy of failing to pay a promised debt.10 Whatever you call it, it is the kind of thing that, in Star Trek, would make the Enterprise’s computer start to stutter and smoke and go haywire—the same reaction, in fact, that greets scientific claims of precognition. (As Dean Radin puts it, laboratory precognition results like those cited in the past two chapters “cause faces to turn red and sputtering noises to be issued from upset lips.”11) Information somehow sent backward in time from an event cannot lead to a future that no longer includes that event—and we naturally intuit that it would be very hard not to have such an effect if we meddled in the timeline. Our very presence in the past would change things.
Eric Wargo (Time Loops: Precognition, Retrocausation, and the Unconscious)
People who don’t read science fiction, but who have at least given it a fair shot, often say they’ve found it inhuman, elitist, and escapist. Since its characters, they say, are both conventionalized and extraordinary, all geniuses, space heroes, superhackers, androgynous aliens, it evades what ordinary people really have to deal with in life, and so fails an essential function of fiction. However remote Jane Austen’s England is, the people in it are immediately relevant and revelatory—reading about them we learn about ourselves. Has science fiction anything to offer but escape from ourselves? The cardboard-character syndrome was largely true of early science fiction, but for decades writers have been using the form to explore character and human relationships. I’m one of them. An imagined setting may be the most appropriate in which to work out certain traits and destinies. But it’s also true that a great deal of contemporary fiction isn’t a fiction of character. This end of the century isn’t an age of individuality as the Elizabethan and the Victorian ages were. Our stories, realistic or otherwise, with their unreliable narrators, dissolving points of view, multiple perceptions and perspectives, often don’t have depth of character as their central value. Science fiction, with its tremendous freedom of metaphor, has sent many writers far ahead in this exploration beyond the confines of individuality—Sherpas on the slopes of the postmodern. As for elitism, the problem may be scientism: technological edge mistaken for moral superiority. The imperialism of high technocracy equals the old racist imperialism in its arrogance; to the technophile, people who aren’t in the know/in the net, who don’t have the right artifacts, don’t count. They’re proles, masses, faceless nonentities. Whether it’s fiction or history, the story isn’t about them. The story’s about the kids with the really neat, really expensive toys. So “people” comes to be operationally defined as those who have access to an extremely elaborate fast-growth industrial technology. And “technology” itself is restricted to that type. I have heard a man say perfectly seriously that the Native Americans before the Conquest had no technology. As we know, kiln-fired pottery is a naturally occurring substance, baskets ripen in the summer, and Machu Picchu just grew there. Limiting humanity to the producer-consumers of a complex industrial growth technology is a really weird idea, on a par with defining humanity as Greeks, or Chinese, or the upper-middle-class British. It leaves out a little too much. All fiction, however, has to leave out most people. A fiction interested in complex technology may legitimately leave out the (shall we say) differently technologized, as a fiction about suburban adulteries may ignore the city poor, and a fiction centered on the male psyche may omit women. Such omission may, however, be read as a statement that advantage is superiority, or that the white middle class is the whole society, or that only men are worth writing about. Moral and political statements by omission are legitimated by the consciousness of making them, insofar as the writer’s culture permits that consciousness. It comes down to a matter of taking responsibility. A denial of authorial responsibility, a willed unconsciousness, is elitist, and it does impoverish much of our fiction in every genre, including realism.
Ursula K. Le Guin (A Fisherman of the Inland Sea)
You say the poet is in the clouds; but so is the thunderbolt.
G.K. Chesterton (The Victorian Age in Literature)
Macaulay took it for granted that common sense required some kind of theology, while Huxley took it for granted that common sense meant having none. Macaulay, it is said, never talked about his religion: but Huxley was always talking about the religion he hadn’t got.
G.K. Chesterton (The Victorian Age in Literature)
A man making the confession of any creed worth ten minutes’ intelligent talk is always a man who gains something and gives up something. So long as he does both he can create; for he is making an outline and a shape. Mahomet created, when he forbade wine but allowed five wives: he created a very big thing, which we have still to deal with. The first French Republic created, when it affirmed property and abolished peerages; France still stands like a square, four-sided building which Europe has besieged in vain. The men of the Oxford Movement would have been horrified at being compared either with Moslems or Jacobins. But their subconscious thirst was for something that Moslems and Jacobins had and ordinary Angelicans had not: the exalted excitement of consistency. If you were a Moslem you were not a Bacchanal. If you were a Republican you were not a peer. And so the Oxford men, even in their first and dimmest stages, felt that if you were a Churchman you were not a Dissenter. [...] It was an appeal to reason: reason said that if a Christian had a feast-day he must have a fast-day too. Otherwise, all days out to be alike; and this was the very Utilitarianism against which their Oxford Movement was the first and most rational assault.
G.K. Chesterton (The Victorian Age in Literature)
The war on menopausal sexuality is, of course, nothing new—no breast cancer required to enter. According to Elaine Showalter’s The Female Malady, in Victorian England women who expressed an interest in sex after menopause were ridiculed and derided, and their husbands were advised to “withhold” any sexual stimulation. Some pioneering doctors “treated” oversexed (by which I mean sexed-at-all) middle-aged women’s malady of desire with “a course of injections of ice water into the rectum, introduction of ice into the vagina, and leeching of the labia and the cervix.” It’s no doubt not unrelated that, when women tried to avail themselves of the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857, one doctor began performing clitoridectomies after which, Showalter notes, the patients each “returned humbly” to their husbands. The squelching of women’s desire has always been one of the main tentacles of patriarchy, and nothing squelches desire more effectively (well, sparing clitoridectomy) than sending a woman a clear message that she will never be desirable again.
Gina Frangello (Blow Your House Down: A Story of Family, Feminism, and Treason)
The Vickys have an elaborate code of morals and conduct. It grew out of the moral squalor of an earlier generation, just as the original Victorians were preceded by the Georgians and the Regency. The old guard believe in that code because they came to it the hard way. They raise their children to believe in that code—but their children believe it for entirely different reasons.” “They believe it,” the Constable said, “because they have been indoctrinated to believe it.” “Yes. Some of them never challenge it—they grow up to be small-minded people, who can tell you what they believe but not why they believe it. Others become disillusioned by the hypocrisy of the society and rebel—as did Elizabeth Finkle-McGraw.” “Which path do you intend to take, Nell?” said the Constable, sounding very interested. “Conformity or rebellion?” “Neither one. Both ways are simple-minded—they are only for people who cannot cope with contradiction and ambiguity.
Neal Stephenson (The Diamond Age)
George Abramovich Koval … was an American who acted as a Soviet intelligence officer for the Soviet atomic bomb project. According to Russian sources, Koval's infiltration of the Manhattan Project as a GRU (Soviet military intelligence) agent "drastically reduced the amount of time it took for Russia to develop nuclear weapons." … Koval was born to Russian Jewish immigrants in Sioux City, Iowa. … George Koval attended Central High School, a red-brick Victorian building better known as "the Castle on the Hill". Neighbors recalled that Koval spoke openly of his Communist beliefs. … He graduated in 1929 at the age of 15. … Abram Koval became the secretary for ICOR, the Organization for Jewish Colonization in the Soviet Union. Founded by American Jewish Communists in 1924, the group helped to finance and publicize the development of the "Jewish Autonomous Region" – the Soviet answer to Jewish emigration to the British Mandate of Palestine then being undertaken by the Zionist movement.
Wikipedia: George Koval
Victoria may have been brought up by Lehzen to admire Elizabeth I, but she wasn't capable of emulating her. She didn't have the brains, the background or the dedication to remain on the throne alone. She also had the misfortune to live in an age that was beginning to expect less of women. The family had previously been an economic unit, with all its members working and contributing. But the Industrial Revolution had begun to provide working men with large enough wages to keep their wives at home.
Lucy Worsley (Queen Victoria: Daughter, Wife, Mother, Widow)
Octavianus took the name Caesar Augustus, and the title princeps et imperator. However, Augustus was shrewd enough to see that the best way to secure his reign was to present it not as the establishment of something new, namely a Roman empire, but as the restoration of something old: Polybius’s and Cicero’s balanced constitution. Augustus was like the architect who renovates an old apartment building by keeping the original Gilded Age façade but putting in completely brand-new fixtures. The façade included the conveniently dead figure of Cicero, who would be posthumously elevated to the status of a Roman Socrates—the virtuous man made impotent by the viciousness of his enemies, including the hated Mark Antony. It was a reputation Cicero would retain without interruption through Victorian times.
Arthur Herman (The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization)
Every age before this one has performed or permitted acts that to us are morally stupefying. So unless we have any reason to think we are more reasonable, morally better or wiser than at any time in the past, it is reasonable to assume there will be some things we are presently doing – possibly while flushed with moral virtue – that our descendants will whistle through their teeth at, and say ‘What the hell were they thinking?’ It is worth wondering what the blind spots of our age might be. What might we be doing that will be regarded by succeeding generations in the same way we now look on the slave trade or using Victorian children as chimney sweeps?
Douglas Murray (The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity)
shot.” The truth was the station had never made money because it had been built in the wrong place, a place chosen to save on restitution payments. In the great industrial age of Victorian Britain, landowners had to be paid when a new railway line was constructed across their land, especially if it was agricultural land. The landowners closer to Cranbrook were asking a pretty penny for the railway to go through in the mid-1800s, so instead the station was built in the hamlet of Hartley two miles outside the town. And there it lost money hand over fist, because not enough people wanted to come from Cranbrook to the station. Yet there’s many who would agree with my dad about the shortsighted Beeching and his axe, as Britain’s roads became choked with traffic—perhaps in time many of those railway lines and stations could have become profitable. Certainly old Beeching might have had a change of heart if he’d ever been in a car stuck on the M25 outer London orbital motorway at any time of day.
Jacqueline Winspear (This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing)
Not for nothing did phrases like 'he who marries for love has good nights and bad days' and insults like 'cunt-struck,' the eighteenth-century equivalent of saying that someone was thinking with his dick, survive into the Victorian age.
Hanne Blank (Straight: The Surprisingly Short History Of Heterosexuality)
Zeitgeist is a German word that means “spirit of the age.”  The zeitgeist of Periclean Athens was self-knowledge (supremely embodied in the thought of Socrates), while that of the Middle Ages and Victorianism was hierarchy (Dante) and progress (Tennyson), respectively.  As for the darker zeitgeist of modernism, marked by relativism and subjectivism, though Lewis did not embody it, he understood it better than many of its most ardent supporters.
Louis A. Markos (A to Z with C. S. Lewis)
Richard Francis Burton was a British consul, Orientalist, explorer, best known today for translating the Arabian Nights and the Kama Sutra into English. He was the most educated explorer of the Victorian age, a time when only men of rough disposition set out to discover foreign lands, in stark contrast to the landed gentry, who were uninterested in international travel, unless it was in the comfort of a steamship to go administer a colony for the sake of the Crown or as a military officer deployed to extend the global landholdings of the British Empire. He
Michael Rank (Off the Edge of the Map: Marco Polo, Captain Cook, and 9 Other Travelers and Explorers That Pushed the Boundaries of the Known World)
What in the seven levels of hell did my son see in this place?” Horace asks. We’re standing on the street on Thursday morning, staring up at the house, after taking inventory of the place. From here, I can see five different spots where the brick needs to be repaired and pick out where shingles are missing on the sloped roof. The porch sags, and the windows are dingy. But if I let my eyes go out of focus and ignore all that, I can kinda picture what the place might look like after a little—never mind—a lot of TLC. “It has good bones?” I suggest. “It’s got old bones,” he mutters. I smirk. “Yeah? So do you. Doesn’t mean they’re all bad.” He smacks my arm, but he’s grinning. “Just wait till you get to be my age, and then tell me how good old bones are.
Erica Cameron (Sing Sweet Nightingale (The Dream War Saga, #1))
We . . . go out into the Waste Land of Experts, each knowing so much about so little that he can neither be contradicted nor is worth contradicting.
G.M. Young (Victorian England: Portrait of an Age)
She is still forming her conclusions but, above all, is convinced that their actions are borne of instinct: fixed patterns that take them to their source of food, to their safe havens, to their mates, and, ultimately, to their death, since their predators learn these patterns as surely as if they, too, had read Maud’s book.
Emmanuelle de Maupassant (The Gentlemen's Club)
I had been writing a book on censorship before the invention of the Internet, I would have concentrated on two subjects that have hardly featured in these pages: the power of the state in its dictatorial and democratic forms to suppress criticism; and the power of private and public media conglomerates to control debate. They dominated thinking about freedom of speech in the twentieth century, but by the twenty-first appeared less important than at any time since the highpoint of Victorian liberalism.
Nick Cohen (You Can't Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom)
She was merely an actress who had been forced to perform her part on stage without fully knowing her lines. She was not real.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
Nothing defined the latter half of England's Victorian age more than the way in which Darwin's claims shook the collective faith of Victorian society. The cataclysmic effect of Darwin's ideas on his society is described by historians as a crisis of faith that turned the once-hopeful period into an "age of anxiety" and an "age of doubt." The years surrounding the publication of Darwin's work are the narrow gate through which the age of belief passed into the age of unbelief, not only for England but for the entire Western world within the shockingly brief period of one generation.
Karen Swallow Prior (Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me)
We laughed as we ducked behind a pile of snow. Then our brothers came charging through the barrier, sending the four of us sliding down a white slope full of cherished memories.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
Oscar always said that books are truly our best friends. He said that they never think poorly of us and that they always have a shoulder for us to cry on or relieve stress. They take our minds away from the real world by telling us captivating stories. When we look back at our choice of books, we can nostalgically recall our younger years.
Erica Sehyun Song
Go find your own hiding spot!” I hissed. “The seat is not wide enough to hold me and that whale you call a nightgown.” Also, we were better off if whoever was coming caught one of us – and by one of us, I meant Rose.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
Lucille, please make them go away!” she moaned, her voice muffled. “Do you think I am a divine being sent from the celestial realm to guard you from the harsh punishment of rousing from your slumber?” “Is that a yes?” “I am surrounded by idiots.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
The two of us locked up our own little secrets from the real world. We had experienced countless sleepless nights when we would share our fears, our worries, and our passions; when we would gossip about the school and the other girls. We had played too many pranks and snuck out more than enough times to be expelled if the teachers ever found out. We were professionals at the art of being discreet; however, we had never found sneaking out of a residence necessary, especially when the reason was not to play a prank.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
There was a sudden flash of lightning which brightly illuminated our faces. I squinted against the harsh light. It was soon followed by the crack of thunder. The strong wind whipped our hair around our faces, and the younger girls squealed as they quickly ran across the grass to get inside the school. Rose and I sat up, smiles on our faces as we listened to the weather’s dangerous melody. The third flash of lightning finally ripped open the sky’s belly. Freezing rain cascaded out, drenching us in a matter of seconds, the flower garlands drooping and lying limp on our matted hair.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
The rain landed on my skin with a barely audible patter and changed the tempo of its repetitive dance, letting the wind change its course and angle. The cold soon seeped through my dress and into my bones. An iris from my garland fell in my lap.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
I took my friend’s hand as she helped me up. With our hands still linked and our flower crowns tangled in our hair, we danced, laughing with joy, through the rain and towards the school, the lightning showing us our path with its powerful light.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
But what if Oscar—” “Breathes fire and threatens to cook you over a grill?” “I was thinking what if he gets mad, but I think your way works as well.” “Then you shall make for a tasty meal.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
All the carriages filed out in single file but in a fashion that seemed to mean that they were competing against each other. The only sound that could be heard for a while was the pounding of the horses’ hooves and the squeal and groan of the wheels against the road. Their hooves kicked up dirt, creating a storm of dust. Once the miniature storm and the sound of galloping horses subsided, I could only see one last person. He glared up at me and mouthed, “Next time.” Christopher dug his boots into Dawn’s muscled flank. She reared up and broke into a gallop through the sparse forest, heading for escape. The last trace of them was the particles of floating dust, bright like floating fire.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
The four of us stood in silence as we watched the surrounding girls play games or gossip. It was almost as if I did not belong here anymore. It was like I was peering in through a window from a completely different world.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
Time is a funny thing. You can go through it and meddle with it, but nothing can stay permanent. So even if everything so far had not happened, time would still have managed to find a way to make all this happen.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
I felt so much older now, so much more responsible. I guess that there were some positive outcomes: I knew more things than usual, and I knew that I really could accomplish anything and everything. But sometimes, all a fifteen-year-old girl wants is to stop growing. She wants time to slow down and eventually stand still where she can be young and inexperienced forever. Sometimes, she simply wants to remain a child.
Erica Sehyun Song (Thorns in the Shadow)
He is only fifteen! Does she really think he is prepared for marriage, especially with his intellectual range of a teacup?
Erica Sehyun Song
He had been raised on a few bedrock certainties: the Victorian spirit of duty, the personal need for responsibility, for doing what had to be done. He had demonstrated his adherence to this code by taking on his father's debts, as well as the burdens of his aging and ailing mother and of his manic-depressive sister. That same code now had him at war with himself. Happiness was within his grasp, but seizing it meant abandoning his responsibility to Mayo. If he cut her loose, he could save himself. But he would also cut her lifeline.
A.M. Sperber & Eric Lax
Like Churchill, indeed like other late Victorians, Gandhi was obsessed with standards of manliness and masculinity. Not surprisingly, physical courage was to them both a crucial measure of male character.9
Arthur Herman (Gandhi and Churchill: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age)
Liked Following Message More Contact Us .. Status Photo / VideoOffer, Event + . Write something... . 1 Draft Created Saturday, November 5 at 4:05pm. See draft. . The Year of “Alphabetization In the Cuban post revolution era it was at “Che” Guevara who promoted educational and health reforms. 1961 became the “Year of Cuban Literacy” or the “Campaña Nacional de Alfabetización en Cuba,” meaning the “Year of Alphabetization in Cuba.” The illiteracy rate had increased throughout Cuba after the revolution. Fidel Castro in a speech told prospective literacy teachers, “You will teach, and you will learn,” meaning that this educational program would become a two-way street. Both public and private schools were closed two months earlier, for the summer than usual, so that both teachers and students could voluntarily participate in this special ambitious endeavor. A newly uniformed army of young teachers went out into the countryside, to help educate those in need of literacy education. It was the first time that a sexually commingled group would spend the summer together, raising the anxiety of many that had only known a more Victorian lifestyle. For the first time boys and girls, just coming of age, would be sharing living conditions together. This tended to make young people more self-sufficient and thought to give them a better understanding of the Revolution. It is estimated that a million Cubans took part in this educational program. Aside from the primary purpose of decreasing illiteracy, it gave the young people from urban areas an opportunity to see firsthand what conditions were like in the rural parts of Cuba. Since it was the government that provided books and supplies, as well as blankets, hammocks and uniforms, it is no surprise that the educational curriculum included the history of the Cuban Revolution, however it made Cuba the most literate countries in the world with a UNESCO literacy rate in 2015, of 99.7%. By Captain Hank Bracker, author of the award winning book “The Exciting Story of Cuba,” Follow Captain Hank Bracker on Facebook, Goodreads, his Website account and Twitter.
Hank Bracker
In every other age and class man is held responsible for his reading, and not reading responsible for man. The books a man or woman reads are less the making of character than the expression of it.
Kate Summerscale (The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer)
Much of this pattern of thought finds its echo in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood – who were young enough to be Carlyle’s sons. The ‘brotherhood’ began in 1848 at 83 Gower Street, when a group of art students vowed ‘to produce thoroughly good pictures and statues’. Of the original seven, three members of the PRB – Dante Gabriel Rossetti, aged twenty, John Everett Millais, aged nineteen, and William Holman Hunt, aged twenty-one – went on to be famous artists. Other painters whom we think of as ‘Pre-Raphaelite’ – such as Ford Madox Brown himself – never in fact joined the Brotherhood, which was never a very tightly knit guild, and which dissolved with the years. One sees the way in which these
A.N. Wilson (The Victorians)
Miss Evans, known later to the world as George Eliot, was, from 1851 to 1855 (i.e. from the age of thirty-two to thirty-five), living in the household of the radical bookseller John Chapman, 142 The Strand. She had translated in 1844 the revolutionary Hegelian version of Christ’s life, Das Leben Jesu of David Friedrich Strauss, and in 1854 she was to translate Feuerbach’s Das Wesen des Christenthums (Essence of Christianity). Both books saw religion as a purely human construct and the Christian religion as an exercise in mythology. Nowadays, such
A.N. Wilson (The Victorians)
Lennon was – whether by luck, accident or perceptive foresight – at the forefront of the psychedelic era’s passion for rose-tinted introspection, which channelled the likes of children’s literature, Victorian fairgrounds and circuses, and an innocent sense of wonder. McCartney, too, moved with the times when writing his children’s singalong Yellow Submarine. Among the hippie era’s other moments of nostalgia were Pink Floyd’s Bike and The Gnome from their debut album Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, recorded at EMI Studios as the Beatles worked on Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit, laid down in 1966 but released in the same month as Sgt Pepper, and which drew from Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories just as Lennon did; and many more, from Tiny Tim’s Tiptoe Through The Tulips to Traffic’s psychedelic fantasy Hole In My Shoe. The Beatles continued writing songs evoking childhood to the end of their days. Sgt Pepper – itself a loose concept album harking back to earlier, more innocent times – referenced Lewis Carroll (Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds), youthful anticipation of old age (When I’m Sixty-Four), a stroll down memory lane (Good Morning Good Morning), and the sensory barrage of a circus big top extravaganza (Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!). It was followed by Magical Mystery Tour and Yellow Submarine, two films firmly pitched at the widest possible audience. A splendid time was, indeed, guaranteed for all.
Joe Goodden (Riding So High: The Beatles and Drugs)
In addition to the devastating ravages of capitalism, rural England in late Victorian times suffered a series of terrible natural calamities. In 1865–6 and 1877 outbreaks of cattle plague (rinderpest) and pleuropneumonia were so severe that the government had to restrict the movement of cattle and pay compensation to the owners of slaughtered beasts to check the spread of infection.8 A run of wet seasons from 1878 to 1882 produced an epidemic of liver-rot in sheep in Somerset, north Dorset and the Lincolnshire marshes – 4 million sheep were lost in the period.9 The floods caused wipe-out for many arable farmers. Foot-and-mouth disease raged, out of control, through British livestock from 1881 to 1883. Wheat and wool – the two staples of English and Welsh prosperity since the Middle Ages – fell into the hands of overseas markets.10
A.N. Wilson (The Victorians)
The more we consider these mid-Victorians,’ wrote Munby’s biographer Derek Hudson, ‘the more we realise how many, including some of the most sensitively intelligent, were forced by the pressures of a materialist age to live out a world of fantasy in their daily lives.’1
A.N. Wilson (The Victorians)
The berlin, barouche, calèche, coupé, clarence, daumont, landau and phaeton all crowded the streets of London in that supposedly prosaic railway age.
A.N. Wilson (The Victorians)
decadence: the last trumpet should have sounded the moment it was written.’16 If Pater was the godfather of the Nineties, then undoubtedly its most precocious child and greatest visual genius was Aubrey Beardsley (1872–98), and The Yellow Book, the artistic quarterly which he helped to found with his friend Henry Harland, its Scripture. When he took a bundle of drawings to Burne-Jones’s studio in Fulham, the older artist told Beardsley, then aged eighteen, ‘Nature has given you every gift which is necessary to become a great artist. I seldom or never advise anyone to take up art as a profession, but in your case I can do nothing else.’17 Whistler, whose relations with Beardsley were much edgier, made a generous admission in 1896 when he saw Beardsley’s brilliantly clever illustrations to Pope’s Rape of the Lock – ‘Aubrey, I have made a very great mistake – you are a very great artist’ – a tribute which reduced the consumptive (and not always sober) genius to tears. Art historians can spot the influences on Beardsley’s work – some William Morris here, some Japanese prints there. Beardsley’s drawings, however, do not merely illustrate, they define their age, as with his design for a prospectus of The Yellow Book, showing an expensively dressed, semi-oriental courtesan perusing a brightly lit bookstall late at night while from within the shop the elderly pierrot gazes at her furiously, quizzically.
A.N. Wilson (The Victorians)
John Ruskin did not go to school. Nor did Queen Victoria, nor John Stuart Mill, George Eliot or Harriet Martineau. It would be absurd to suggest that Disraeli, Dickens, Newman or Darwin, to name four very different figures, who attended various schools for short spells in their boyhood, owed very much to their schooling. Had they been born in a later generation, school would have loomed much larger in their psychological stories, if only because they would have spent so much longer there, and found themselves preparing for public examinations. It is hard not to feel that a strong ‘syllabus’, or a school ethos, might have cramped the style of all four and that in their different ways – Disraeli, comparatively rich, anarchically foppish, indiscriminately bookish; Darwin, considered a dunce, but clearly – as he excitedly learned to shoot, to fish and to bird-watch – beginning his revolutionary relationship with the natural world; Newman, imagining himself an angel; Dickens, escaping the ignominy of his circumstances through theatrical and comedic internalized role-play – they were lucky to have been born before the Age of Control. For the well-meaning educational reforms of the 1860s were the ultimate extension of those Benthamite exercises in control which had begun in the 1820s and 1830s. Having exercised their sway over the poor, the criminals, the agricultural and industrial classes, the civil service and – this was next – the military, the controllers had turned to the last free spirits left, the last potential anarchists: the children.
A.N. Wilson (The Victorians)
Every era breeds some rebellion with the past, and Queen Victoria was crowned in 1838 amid a backlash against an “age of debauchery,” when upper-class males routinely kept mistresses. In the Victorian era, the image of the happy family, chaste couples amid the “respectability” of polite society, was acclaimed. And by 1870, reformers were once again fighting crime, obscenity, debauchery, and prostitution as the post–Civil War period mocked much of the Victorian myth. Yet hypocrisy hadn’t faded. Despite fashion that paraded plumped-up breasts, women were supposed to be horrified at naked statues in art museums, legs were never to be seen, and the lower half of the body was called the “nether regions.
Myra MacPherson (The Scarlet Sisters: Sex, Suffrage, and Scandal in the Gilded Age)
To salvage the genuine love he was deprived of in childhood, Rimbaud turned to the idea of love embodied in Christian charity and in understanding and compassion for others. He set out to give others what he himself had never received. He tried to understand his friend and to help Verlaine understand himself, but the repressed emotions from his childhood repeatedly interfered with this attempt. He sought redemption in Christian charity, but his implacably perspicacious intelligence would allow him no self-deception. Thus he spent his whole life searching for his own truth, but it remained hidden to him because he had learned at a very early age to hate himself for what his mother had done to him. He experienced himself as a monster, his homosexuality as a vice (this was easy to do given Victorian attitudes toward homosexuality), his despair as a sin. But not once did he allow himself to direct his endless, justified rage at the true culprit, the woman who had kept him locked up in her prison for as long as she could. All his life he attempted to free himself of that prison, with the help of drugs, travel, illusions, and above all poetry. But in all these desperate efforts to open the doors that would have led to liberation, one of them remained obstinately shut, the most important one: the door to the emotional reality of his childhood, to the feelings of the little child who was forced to grow up with a severely disturbed, malevolent woman, with no father to protect him from her. Rimbaud’s biography is a telling instance of how the body cannot but seek desperately for the early nourishment it has been denied. Rimbaud was driven to assuage a deficiency, a hunger that could never be stilled. His drug addiction, his compulsive travels, and his friendship with Verlaine can be interpreted not merely as attempts to flee from his mother, but also as a quest for the nourishment she had withheld from him. As his internal reality inevitably remained unconscious, Rimbaud’s life was marked by compulsive repetition.
Alice Miller (The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Hurtful Parenting)
In Victorian England, the average age of death among the urban poor was 15 to 16 years.
Suzanne Humphries (Dissolving Illusions)
She sat on the wall, opened her book, and paid him no mind. After a few minutes the sounds of clipping stopped, and she felt his gaze on her. She turned a page. “Jane,” he said with a touch of exasperation. “Shh, I’m reading,” she said. “Jane, listen, someone warned me that another fellow heard my telly playing and told Mrs. Wattlesbrook, and I had to toss it out this morning. If they spot me hanging around you..” “You’re not hanging around me, I’m reading.” “Bugger, Jane…” “Martin, please, I’m sorry about your TV but you can’t cast me away now. I’ll go raving mad if I have to sit in that house again all afternoon. I haven’t sewn a thing since junior high Home Ec when I made a pair of gray shorts that ripped at the butt seam the first time I sat down, and I haven’t played pianoforte since I quit from boredom at age twelve, and I haven’t read a book in the middle of the day since college, so you see what a mess I’m in.” “So,” Martin said, digging in his spade. “You’ve come to find me again when there is no one else to flirt with.” Huh! thought Jane. He snapped a dead branch off the trunk. Huh! she thought again. She stood and started to walk away. “Wait.” Martin hopped after her, grabbing her elbow. “I saw you with those actors, parading around the grounds this morning. I hadn’t seen you with them before. In the context. And it bothered me. I mean, you don’t really go in for this stuff, do you?” Jane shrugged. “You do?” “More than I want to, though you’ve been making it seem unnecessary lately.” Martin squinted up at a cloud. “I’ve never understood the women who come here, and you’re one of them. I can’t make sense of it.” “I don’t think I could explain it to a man. If you were a woman, all I’d have to say is ‘Colin Firth in a wet shirt’ and you’d say, ‘Ah.’” “Ah. I mean, aha! is what I mean.” Crap. She’d hoped he would laugh at the Colin Firth thing. And he didn’t. And now the silence made her feel as though she were standing on a seesaw, waiting for the weight to drop on the other side. Then she smelled it. The musty, acrid, sour, curdled, metallic, decaying odor of ending. This wasn’t just a first fight. She’d been in this position too many times not to recognize the signs. “Are you breaking up with me?” she asked. “Were we ever together enough to require breaking up?” Oh. Ouch. She took a step back on that one. Perhaps it was her dress that allowed her to compose herself more quickly than normal. She curtsied. “Pardon the interruption, I mistook you for someone I knew.” She turned and left, wishing for a Victorian-type gown so she could have whipped the full skirts for a satisfying little cracking sound. She had to satisfy herself with emphatically tightening her bonnet ribbon as she marched. You stupid, stupid girl, she thought. You were fantasizing again. Stop it! It had all been going so well. She’d let herself have fun, unwind, not plague a new romance with constant questions such as, What if? And after? And will he love me forever? “Are you breaking up with me…?” she muttered to herself. He must think she was a lunatic. And really, he’d be right. Here she was in Pembrook Park, a place where women hand over scads of dough to hook up with men paid to adore them, but she finds the one man on campus who’s in a position to reject her and then leads him into it. Typical Jane.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
...if only the comfortable prosperity of the Victorian age hadn't lulled us into a false conviction of individual security and made us believe that what was going on outside our homes didn't matter to us, the Great War might never have happened.
Vera Brittain
There may be a logical or historical reason why mid-Victorian English butchers should have been predominantly Conservative (a link with agriculture?) and grocers overwhelmingly Liberal (a link with overseas trade?), but none has been established, and perhaps what needs explaining is not this, but why these two omnipresent types of shopkeeper refused to share the same opinions, whatever they were.
Eric J. Hobsbawm (The Age of Capital, 1848–1875)
This great strategic reversal has produced few alternatives to the ideas and ideologies that dominated the industrial age. The public rides on new technologies and platforms, but as users rather than makers: it is uninterested in leveraging technical innovation to formulate its own ideology, programs, or plans. The public opposes, but does not propose. So in the second decade of the new millennium, political arguments resemble a distorted echo of the French Revolution or Victorian England: we still quarrel in terms of left and right, conservative and liberal, even while the old landscape has been swept clean and the relevance of these venerable labels has become uncertain.
Martin Gurri (The Revolt of The Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium)
…the end of the Cold War has brought not prosperity for all but a pitiless economic struggle for pole-position on the food chain of information capitalism. The neoliberalism and neocolonialism of the 1990s are the direct heir of the Manchester liberalism and colonialism of the 1890s, the only difference being that whereas Victorian rentiers extracted their Imperial textile-rents from the labor of the Great Unwashed, their postmodern analogues on Wall Street speculate on the viewing-rents of the Great Unwatched.
Dennis Redmond (The World is Watching: Video as Multinational Aesthetics, 1968-1995)
It didn’t necessarily mean that he’d been awake all night washing away his mother’s blood. She looked under the bed and felt behind the wardrobe. No porn. No girlie posters on the walls. In fact there were no pictures on the walls at all, only a framed certificate from his catering course. What did he do for sex? Probably used the Internet, like most of the UK’s male population. It came to Vera that more than likely he was a virgin. In contrast, Miranda’s room was surprisingly big. Opulent and glamorous in an old-fashioned way. It held a double bed, piled with pillows and silk-covered cushions, in various shades of purple. These seemed to have been artfully arranged – another sign, Vera thought, that Miranda hadn’t been to bed the night before. There was a small wrought-iron grate, just for decoration now. Where the fire would once have been laid stood a candle in a big blue candle-holder, identical to the one on the table on the terrace. Was that significant? Vera tried to remember if she’d seen one like it in the main house. On one side of the chimneybreast, bookshelves had been built into the alcove, and on the other stood a big Victorian wardrobe. There was a dressing table with an ornate framed mirror under the window, and an upholstered stool in front of it. No PC. So what did Miranda do for sex? The question came, unbidden, into her head. Vera sat on the stool and gave a wry smile into the mirror. She knew her team had sometimes asked the same question about her. But not recently. As you got older, folk seemed to think you could do without. This is where Miranda would have sat to prepare herself to meet the residents. Again Vera was reminded of an ageing actress. Her dressing table was scattered with make-up. The woman hadn’t shared her son’s obsession with order and cleanliness. And beyond the mirror there was a view to the coast. It wasn’t possible to see the terrace from here – it was in the shadow of the big house. But the beach was visible. What had Miranda been thinking as she put on her face, as she brushed her hair and held it in place with spray? That her life as a writer was over? Or did she still hope for the big break, the posters on the Underground and the reviews in the Sunday papers? Was she still writing? It seemed to Vera that this question was so important, so fundamental, that she’d been a fool not to consider it before. If Miranda had written a new book, and Tony Ferdinand had offered to help her find a home for it, of course Miranda would be shattered to find him dead. The stabbed body would symbolize her shattered dreams. It wouldn’t be easy for a middle-aged
Ann Cleeves (The Glass Room (Vera Stanhope, #5))
THE THING THAT ENTRANCED ME about Chicago in the Gilded Age was the city’s willingness to take on the impossible in the name of civic honor, a concept so removed from the modern psyche that two wise readers of early drafts of this book wondered why Chicago was so avid to win the world’s fair in the first place. The juxtaposition of pride and unfathomed evil struck me as offering powerful insights into the nature of men and their ambitions. The more I read about the fair, the more entranced I became. That George Ferris would attempt to build something so big and novel—and that he would succeed on his first try—seems, in this day of liability lawsuits, almost beyond comprehension. A rich seam of information exists about the fair and about Daniel Burnham in the beautifully run archives of the Chicago Historical Society and the Ryerson and Burnham libraries of the Art Institute of Chicago. I acquired a nice base of information from the University of Washington’s Suzallo Library, one of the finest and most efficient libraries I have encountered. I also visited the Library of Congress in Washington, where I spent a good many happy hours immersed in the papers of Frederick Law Olmsted, though my happiness was at times strained by trying to decipher Olmsted’s execrable handwriting. I read—and mined—dozens of books about Burnham, Chicago, the exposition, and the late Victorian era. Several proved consistently valuable: Thomas Hines’s Burnham of Chicago (1974); Laura Wood Roper’s FLO: A Biography of Frederick Law Olmsted (1973); and Witold Rybczynski’s A Clearing in the Distance (1999). One book in particular, City of the Century by Donald L. Miller (1996), became an invaluable companion in my journey through old Chicago. I found four guidebooks to be especially useful: Alice Sinkevitch’s AIA Guide to Chicago (1993); Matt Hucke and Ursula Bielski’s Graveyards of Chicago (1999); John Flinn’s Official Guide to the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893); and Rand, McNally & Co.’ s Handbook to the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893). Hucke and Bielski’s guide led me to pay a visit to Graceland Cemetery, an utterly charming haven where, paradoxically, history comes alive.
Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City)
A hand moved gracefully over the canvas, releasing the first colorful dot onto a sea of white. Her mind traveled to a different realm, and she joined in spirit with every human being whomever dared to take that first stroke, and she knew the risks; she was willing to pay the price, because wasn’t that what the heart longed for? Whether it be by writing, painting, or music—one only needs to find the strength of courage to walk along the creative path, to search for one’s higher self, and maybe, for just a moment, to gaze into the eyes of God." ― AnneMarie Dapp, Autumn Lady
AnneMarie Dapp
No one called them Vikings at the time; that word simply means raider44 and only became common when the Icelandic sagas of the eleventh century were popularized in Victorian times. To the Saxons they were called Danes, even if they were often Norwegian; both nationalities tended to rape and pillage, so it didn’t really make much difference which freezing hellhole they came from. More
Ed West (Saxons vs. Vikings: Alfred the Great and England in the Dark Ages (A Very, Very Short History of England Book 2))
More recent critics of the folk revival have suggested that the entire body of work considered ‘British folk’, from the Victorian age onwards, has been nothing more than carefully staged illusion, the product of a wholesale middle-class appropriation of working people’s culture.
Rob Young (Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music)
The Victorian grey and black stone building had been filled with a combination of exquisite stonework and gumdrop. This exterior finish had an ominous feel to it, with its construction dating back to the early 1900s.
Lali A. Love (The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance (Ascending Angel Academy #1))
Perhaps, above all, Gladstone should be seen as an archetypal figure of the Victorian age, though he was never appreciated by its figurehead, whose interests he had tried so devotedly and so unrewardingly to serve.
Dick Leonard (The Great Rivalry: Gladstone and Disraeli)
SCIENTISTS HAD KNOWN since the late nineteenth century that tobacco smoke contains carbon monoxide. Victorian scientists had even been able to calculate the amount of gas in the smoke: up to 4 percent in cigarette smoke, and in Gettler’s own choice of tobacco, the cigar, between 6 and 8 percent. Gettler’s latest work theorized that chain smokers might suffer from low-level carbon monoxide poisoning. He speculated in a 1933 report that “headaches experienced by heavy smokers are due in part to the inhalation of carbon monoxide.” But his real interest lay less in their symptoms than in how much of the poison had accumulated in their blood, and how that might affect his calculations on cause of death. He approached that problem in his usual, single-minded way. To get a better sense of carbon monoxide contamination from smoking tobacco, Gettler selected three groups of people to compare: persons confined to a state institution in the relatively clean air of the country; street cleaners who worked in a daily, dusty cloud of car exhaust; and heavy smokers. As expected, carboxyhemoglobin blood levels for country dwellers averaged less than 1 percent saturation. The levels for Manhattan street cleaners were triple that amount, a solid 3 percent. But smokers came in the highest, higher than he’d expected, well above the nineteenth-century calculations. Americans were inhaling a lot more tobacco smoke than they had once done, and their saturation levels ranged from 8 to 19 percent. (The latter was from a Bronx cab driver who admitted to smoking six cigarettes on his way to Gettler’s laboratory, lighting one with the stub of another as he went.) It was safe to assume, Gettler wrote with his usual careful precision, that “tobacco smoking appreciably increases the carbon monoxide in the blood and cannot be ignored in the interpretation of laboratory results.”     THE OTHER NOTABLE poison in tobacco smoke was nicotine.
Deborah Blum (The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York)
Ma quello a cui non poté sottrarsi era l'attrazione che i suoi occhi esercitavano su di lui. Li aveva incrociati per un istante che gli parve eterno. Due meravigliosi laghi azzurri, dove si aveva l'impressione di annegare. Profondi come il mare e trasparenti come una cielo terso di primavera. Due occhi dai quali non sembrava in grado di staccarsi e non lo avrebbe fatto se non fosse stata lei a distogliere lo sguardo per prima. La vide concentrarsi su Eliza e Virginia per poter essere loro utile al meglio. Lui si sentì tagliato fuori da quello scampolo di esistenza. Anche se, per la prima volta nella sua vita, sarebbe stato disposto a sopportare stoicamente la tediosa procedura femminile della scelta dei modelli e dei tessuti per la realizzazione di un guardaroba se gli fosse stato possibile restare. Si riscosse e uscì dalla stanza.
Carragh Sheridan (Fin de Siècle. Amore proibito)
When we read Victorian novels, we are often misled into thinking how close that age is to our own; but when we encounter historical fiction of the period we recognize something equally powerful: the nineteenth century's strange otherness, the mark of its and our own historicity.
John Bowen
Gothic is the genre of fear. Our fascination with it is almost always revived during times of instability and panic. In the wake of the French Revolution, the Marquis de Sade described the rise of the genre as 'the inevitable product of the revolutionary shock with which the whole of Europe resounded,' and literary critics in the late eighteenth century mocked the work of early gothic writers Anne Radcliffe and Matthew Lewis by referring to it as 'the terrorist school' of writing. As Fred Botting writes in Gothic, his lucid introduction to the genre, it expresses our unresolved feelings about 'the nature of power, law, society, family and sexuality' and yet is extremely concerned with issues of social disintegration and collapse. It's preoccupied with all that is immoral, fantastic, suspenseful, and sensational and yet prone to promoting middle-class values. It's interested in transgression, but it's ultimately more interested in restitution; it alludes to the past yet is carefully attuned to the present; it's designed to evoke excessive emotion, yet it's thoroughly ambivalent; it's the product of revolution and upheaval, yet it endeavors to contain their forces; it's terrifying, but pretty funny. And, importantly, the gothic always reflects the anxieties of its age in an appropriate package, so that by the nineteenth century, familiar tropes representing external threats like crumbling castles, aristocratic villains, and pesky ghosts had been swallowed and interiorized. In the nineteenth century, gothic horrors were more concerned with madness, disease, moral depravity, and decay than with evil aristocrats and depraved monks. Darwin's theories, the changing roles of women in society, and ethical issues raised by advances in science and technology haunted the Victorian gothic, and the repression of these fears returned again and again in the form of guilt, anxiety, and despair. 'Doubles, alter egos, mirrors, and animated representations of the disturbing parts of human identity became the stock devices,' Botting writes, 'signifying the alienation of the human subject from the culture and language in which s/he is located.' In the transition from modernity to post-modernity, the very idea of culture as something stable and real is challenged, and so postmodern gothic freaks itself out by dismantling modernist grand narratives and playing games. In the twentieth century, 'Gothic [was] everywhere and nowhere,' and 'narrative forms and devices spill[ed] over from worlds of fantasy and fiction into real and social spheres.
Carina Chocano (You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages)
By the close of the Victorian age Britain’s officer classes were increasingly the inheritors, rather than the winners, of empire.
Andrew Gordon (Rules of Game: Jutland and British Naval Command)
One of the very few valid criticisms of Queen Victoria is that she was not sufficiently concerned with improvement of the conditions in which a great mass of her subjects passed their lives. She lived through an age of profound social change, but neither public health, nor housing, nor the education of her people, nor their representation, engaged much of her time.
Cecil Woodham-Smith (Queen Victoria, From her Birth to the Death of the Prince Consort)
It is nine o'clock, and London has breakfasted. Some unconsidered tens of thousands have, it is true, already enjoyed with what appetite they might their pre-prandial meal; the upper fifty thousand, again, have not yet left their luxurious couches, and will not breakfast till ten, eleven o'clock, noon; nay, there shall be sundry listless, languid members of fast military clubs, dwellers among the tents of Jermyn Street, and the high-priced second floors of Little Ryder Street, St. James's, upon whom one, two, and three o'clock in the afternoon shall be but as dawn, and whose broiled bones and devilled kidneys shall scarcely be laid on the damask breakfast-cloth before Sol is red in the western horizon. I wish that, in this age so enamoured of statistical information, when we must needs know how many loads of manure go to every acre of turnip-field, and how many jail-birds are thrust into the black hole per mensem for fracturing their pannikins, or tearing their convict jackets, that some M'Culloch or Caird would tabulate for me the amount of provisions, solid and liquid, consumed at the breakfasts of London every morning. I want to know how many thousand eggs are daily chipped, how many of those embryo chickens are poached, and how many fried; how many tons of quartern loaves are cut up to make bread-and-butter, thick and thin; how many porkers have been sacrificed to provide the bacon rashers, fat and streaky ; what rivers have been drained, what fuel consumed, what mounds of salt employed, what volumes of smoke emitted, to catch and cure the finny haddocks and the Yarmouth bloaters, that grace our morning repast. Say, too, Crosse and Blackwell, what multitudinous demands are matutinally made on thee for pots of anchovy paste and preserved tongue, covered with that circular layer - abominable disc! - of oleaginous nastiness, apparently composed of rancid pomatum, but technically known as clarified butter, and yet not so nasty as that adipose horror that surrounds the truffle bedecked pate  de  foie gras. Say, Elizabeth Lazenby, how many hundred bottles of thy sauce (none of which are genuine unless signed by thee) are in request to give a relish to cold meat, game, and fish. Mysteries upon mysteries are there connected with nine o'clock breakfasts.
George Augustus Sala (Twice Round the Clock, or the Hours of the Day and Night in London (Classic Reprint))
Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore Than labor in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar; O, rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more.
Alfred Tennyson
«Io non ho mai fatto intendere nulla a miss Harrison – sussurrò contro la sua pelle – l'ho sempre rifiutata come avete visto voi stessa». «Forse vi devo anche ricordare che nel nostro accordo c'è la libertà di non essere fedeli l'uno all'altra?» disse ancora la donna. Ma la sua voce era roca, disturbata dal calore del corpo di Roderick e dal suo profumo. «E io non intendo avvalermi di tale clausola» confermò lui con voce rotta. «Perché non dovreste farlo?». Scese un silenzio denso durante il quale le braccia forti del conte Chesterton non la lasciarono libera e le sue labbra cominciarono a baciare le sue spalle nude per poi salire verso il collo e arrivare all'orecchio. «Perché sono innamorato di te» soffiò pianissimo. Elinor percepì il calore del suo respiro dolce e fu invasa dal suo profumo e dalla confusione. «Perché l'unica donna che mi accende i sensi – riprese lui – l'unica donna che voglio nella mia vita e nel mio letto sei tu, le altre non riesco nemmeno più a vederle». Elinor sentì che presto avrebbe ceduto al pianto. La confusione che stava straziando la sua anima stava diventando insopportabile. Avrebbe voluto dirgli che anche lei era innamorata di lui, che lui era l'unico che occupava i suoi pensieri e le sue fantasie ma sapeva che se voleva mantenere fede a se stessa e provare a diventare la persona che aveva sempre desiderato diventare avrebbe dovuto lasciarlo, partire per Parigi, andare lontano da lui. La lontananza avrebbe procurato uno strappo tra di loro che sarebbe stato forse impossibile ricucire, anche se si fossero impegnati a mantenere un contatto attraverso il debole filo di un rapporto epistolare. Le lettere, però, erano solamente parole scritte su un pezzo di carta. Roderick Chesterton aveva chiaramente dichiarato di non essere incline a comunicare attraverso missive e lei sapeva che il motivo era il fatto che le parole, seppur scritte, non potevano compensare la presenza fisica di una persona, non potevano compensare il contatto di due corpi, i baci o gli abbracci, non potevano rendere forti le fondamenta di una relazione. Quelle stesse parole con il tempo sarebbero diventate solo simboli svuotati del loro stesso significato. In quel momento lui avrebbe sentito il bisogno di cercare il calore di un'altra donna, di un'altra relazione, sarebbe stato in quel momento che lo avrebbe perso definitivamente, senza possibilità di recupero. Le labbra del conte raggiunsero le sue baciandole con passione. Il sapore di crema della bocca di lei si mischiò ai baci bollenti e intensi che lui non interrompeva, mentre le sue braccia stringevano il corpo di Elinor quasi soffocandola. «Io amo te – concluse l'uomo con voce rotta senza smettere di baciarla – io voglio solo te».
Carragh Sheridan (Fin de Siècle. Dove prendono casa gli Angeli (Italian Edition))
he saw her as she was—a hideous phantom of the corruption of the ages.
Michael Sims (Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories)
I swivel my back to her, my eyes gluttonous and eager to get their fill of this intimate piece of what has come to be her puzzle.
Ilse V. Rensburg (Blood Sipper)
Her blood. Gushing out, it darkens her lovely hair until each strand is as heavy as the shadows of my mind.
Ilse V. Rensburg (Blood Sipper)
My mind is blank. Yet, one word rides the Ferris wheel of my psyche, whirling around and leaving me dizzy - monster. It is unavoidable. I am a monster.
Ilse V. Rensburg (Blood Sipper)
For anyone, man or woman to desire me, it is absurd! I am nothing but a gargoyle filled with the blood of others.
Ilse V. Rensburg (Blood Sipper)
Like a kelpie the sunlight feigns innocence until it meets my skin, transforming into a sharp-toothed monster that tears away at my cold dead flesh.
Ilse V. Rensburg (Blood Sipper)
It is a reflection of a well-known social problem during the Victorian age, when female servants were often made pregnant by the master of the house or one of his sons.
Michael Korda (Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia)
The smallest lapse in emotion leaves me spinning, overcome with bloodlust.
Ilse V. Rensburg (Blood Sipper)
There is a tendency in the academic study of magic to characterise magical belief and practice as irrational. This tendency is the result of a misrepresentation and misunderstanding of the nature of magic and of its historical role in Western culture. This misrepresentation is dependent upon two erroneous interpretations of magical practice and belief. The first interpretation is derived from a religious view of the world and the second from an apparent scientific view of the world. Early biblical religion provides us with some of the first written documents that deal with magic. In this forum magic is depicted as evil and forbidden yet, most importantly, it is portrayed as being quite real. This understanding of magic prevailed in the Middle Ages when unorthodox and deviant religious practices were classified by the Church as magical. The scientific viewpoint dismissed magic in favour of the more objectively verifiable applications of scientific practices and beliefs. The Age of Enlightenment furthered this early scientific approach by characterising magic not only as inefficient but also as irrational when placed under the scrutiny of newly established scientific and empirical methods. These two understandings of magic, one as terrible and real, and the other as inefficient and wrong, continue to taint the western comprehension of magic.
Alison Butler (Magical Beginnings: The Intellectual Origins of the Victorian Occult Revival)
Those who didn't fit the moral code of Victorian England, or sat outside the narrative of conquest, or repackaged or removed from the [historical] record.
Janina Ramírez (Femina)
The fundamental ethical objection to eugenics is that it licenses some people to decide whether the lives of others are worth living. Part of an intellectual dynasty that included the Victorian uber-Darwinian TH Huxley and the novelist Aldous, Julian Huxley never doubted that an improved human species would match his own high-level brainpower. But not everyone thinks intellect is the most valuable human attribute. General de Gaulle’s daughter Anne had Down’s syndrome, and the famously undemonstrative soldier and Resistance leader referred to her as “my joy”, and when at the age of 20 she died he wept. The capacity to give and receive love may be more central to the good life than self-admiring cleverness.
John Gray
I rather fancy, if you will forgive me an aphorism, that we live in not the Age of Reason, as so many proclaim, but in that of Ignorance; for there is nothing reason so readily proclaims to the attentive mind as the extent of our ignorance. It transforms what were once mysteries, for ever inaccessible to human comprehension, into merely phenomena we have not yet explained, and thereby at once increases what we know and what we do not.
Brian Ruckley (The Edinburgh Dead)
The brutal tectonics of neoliberal globalization since 1978 are analogous to the catastrophic processes that shaped a “Third World” in the first place, during the era of late-Victorian imperialism (1870–1900). At the end of the nineteenth century, the forcible incorporation into the world market of the great subsistence peasantries of Asia and Africa entailed the famine deaths of millions and the uprooting of tens of millions more from traditional tenures. The end result (in Latin America as well) was rural “semi-proletarianization,” the creation of a huge global class of immiserated semi-peasants and farm laborers lacking existential security of subsistence. As a result, the twentieth century became an age not of urban revolutions, as classical Marxism had imagined, but of epochal rural uprisings and peasant-based wars of national liberation.
Mike Davis (Planet of Slums)
Sometimes religion fails to serve its meaning-making function at moments of catastrophic disruption or cultural change. For example, many elite and middle class Christian adherents were shaken by a Victorian spiritual crisis as intellectual challenges converged. Between 1840 and 1900 some lost faith in the face of Darwinian biology and the new geology, which challenged biblical claims about the origin and age of the universe; the new historical and literary study of the Bible, called Higher Criticism, which challenged the claim that scripture was divinely inspired; and the new comparative study of religions, which challenged the uniqueness and superiority of Christianity. Those doubters now looked out on a different ocean, as does the narrator in Matthew Arnold's poem "Dover Beach," who once found comfort as waves in "the sea of faith" drew near, but who now hears only "its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar.
Thomas A Tweed (Religion: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions))
adolescence; as never, surely, were the certain-coursed, dynamic roller-coasters of youth. For most men and women these thirty years are taken up with a gradual withdrawal from life, a retreat first from a front with many shelters, those myriad amusements and curiosities of youth, to a line with less, when we peel down our ambitions to one ambition, our recreations to one recreation, our friends to a few to whom we are anaesthetic; ending up at last in a solitary, desolate strong point that is not strong, where the shells now whistle abominably, now are but half-heard as, by turns frightened and tired, we sit waiting for death. At forty, then, Merlin was no different from himself at thirty-five; a larger paunch, a gray twinkling near his ears, a more certain lack of vivacity in his walk. His forty-five differed from his forty by a like margin, unless one mention a slight deafness in his left ear. But at fifty-five the process had become a chemical change of immense rapidity. Yearly he was more and more an "old man" to his family--senile almost, so far as his wife was concerned. He was by this time complete owner of the bookshop. The mysterious Mr. Moonlight Quill, dead some five years and not survived by his wife, had deeded the whole stock and store to him, and there he still spent his days, conversant now by name with almost all that man has recorded for three thousand years, a human catalogue, an authority upon tooling and binding, upon folios and first editions, an accurate inventory of a thousand authors whom he could never have understood and had certainly never read. At sixty-five he distinctly doddered. He had assumed the melancholy habits of the aged so often portrayed by the second old man in standard Victorian comedies. He consumed vast warehouses of time searching for mislaid spectacles. He "nagged" his wife and was nagged in turn. He told the same jokes three or four times a year at the family table, and gave his son weird, impossible directions as to his conduct in life. Mentally and materially he was so entirely different from the Merlin Grainger of twenty-five that it seemed incongruous that he should bear the same name. He worked still In the bookshop with the assistance of a youth, whom, of course, he considered
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald)