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Victorian Studies – Resources

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No matter how you choose to look at it the Victorian period was and remains one of the most fascinating eras in history. From the very fast paced industrialization that took place during that time to the fascinating Bronte sisters, there is such a rich cultural, artistic and historical value to be accrued for studying the various elements that mark this period. Art, literature social and political history, science and industrialization are at the epicenter of this era.

 

Aptly named so because it is the time during which Queen Victoria reigned (1837-1901), the Victorian period has a lot to offer any and every enthusiast and/scholar. Victorian studies may, therefore, be defined as the study of British culture, art, language, and life during the Victorian age.

 

By undertaking Victorian studies one can, after a fashion, relive those days gone by and get to understand albeit through the sometimes inadequate lens of modern theories, what exactly art, literature, and life, in general, had to offer.

 

The Significance of the Victorian Period

There is a very good reason why experts of Victorian and neo-Victorian studies refer to this era as the Golden Period. During Queen Victoria’s reign, Britain truly prospered and became powerful. England literally ruled a quarter of the entire world population and with an ever-increasing demand for goods and services, no epidemic and great healthcare facilities, the population increased markedly.

 

Factories doing all kinds of work mushroomed during this period improving the living standards of people and providing employment. Horse-drawn carriages gave way to the railways and science took center stage with the advent of telephones, radios, and many more inventions, The nineteenth century was a great time for Britain not just because of the industrial revolution but also because architecture, culture, and art blossomed greatly. Queen Victoria, for instance, was the first monarch ever to be photographed. Monumental strides were made during her rule.

 

Why study the Victorian Era

Given all there is to know about the Golden period including its history and the histories of the inventors and inventions of the time, institutions have been established with departments and courses dedicated solely to this era. In these institutions students sign up to learn about the history of art, the history of science, great personalities of this era and so much more.

English departments in many universities across the world offer research and training to help students better understand not just language and its evolution during the Victorian period but also Victorian writing and how it was nurtured by poets and novelists of that time. As an arts and humanities student, for example, undertaking Victorian studies allows you to get a better grasp of what truly transpired during the era, how it happened, what influenced the changes that occurred at the time and why.

 

Supporting bodies and resources

There are several Victorian studies related associations the world over. Worth mentioning perhaps is the North American Victorian Studies Association which was formed in 2002. The main goal of this association is to act as a continental forum that can keep the Victorian period discussion alive through a variety of disciplinary and theoretical approaches. A resource worth taking note of is Project Muse. This is basically an online database consisting of journals and books reviewed by peers. If you are an enthusiast of the Victorian period then Victorian studies are definitely an option for you.


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