Confronting the Paradox:
The term “Victorian” once suggested earnest, stolid, and constrained ideas and behavior. Paradoxically, many scholars consider the Victorian period to be a second English Renaissance – years in which new ideas about aesthetics, society, ideology, politics, science, technology, and religion exploded onto the scene. Members of the Victorian creative class – architects, artists, literati, musicians, and photographers – were at the forefront of this renaissance and lived in a tight-knit community in London, cultivating, sharing, and supporting each others’ work.
Newell Boyd is a former fellow of the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London and a member of England’s Royal Historical Society. He is formerly a professor of history and director of the Liberal Studies Programs at Houston Baptist University. His primary teaching field is Victorian Britain and the British Empire. He holds a Ph.D. in history from Texas Tech University and has done post doctoral study at Oxford University, Birmingham University, and the University of Edinburgh.
October 8: Architecture
Champions of the Gothic Revival, A. W. N. Pugin and Sir Gilbert Scott, among others
October 15: Visual Arts
Founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John Millais, as well as John Waterhouse, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, and Aubrey Beardsley
October 22: Music
Highlighting the work of Sir William Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan (now triumphantly hailed together as Gilbert and Sullivan) and Sir Charles Parry, one of the most prolific Victorian composers
October 29: Literature
Exposing social concerns and innovations in works by Christina Rossetti; Alfred, Lord Tennyson; John Ruskin; Charles Dickens; Elizabeth Gaskell; Thomas Carlyle; and Benjamin Disraeli
November 5: Photography
Julia Margaret Cameron, pioneer of portrait photography, Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), and John Thomson, early travel and social documentary photographer
November 12: William Morris
The multifaceted creative genius associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement, who was a writer, painter, architect, poet, sculptor, publisher, and social reformer
Oscar Wilde, the subject of the Wilde about Oscar seminar, was a great proponent of the Arts and Crafts Movement. To read lectures given by William Morris and Oscar Wilde on this subject, please visit Founders Of The Arts and Crafts Movement.
For much more on all aspects of Victorian society and culture, please explore The Victorian Web.
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