I should be curious to find out the system of reason which would reconcile the various phenomena of English society at this time…. the force of habit is continually exposed to fresh assaults; and that combination of worldliness and Bible worship which was renowned for two centuries under the name of Puritanism has at length begun to stagger, to lose confidence in itself, and to reel beneath the blows of science, critical as well as economical. Its young men dream dreams and its old men see visions. The keystone of the English constitution…is getting shaken out of its place, and the edifice shows rents and fissures in every direction.
The Nineteenth Century, May 1894
The Present is a dungeon dark
Of social problems. Break the gaol!
Get out into the splendid Past
Or bid the splendid Future hail.
A Fleet Street Eclogue, 1895
The trend towards state Socialism and the decline of business confidence in the late-Victorian years both stimulated and sprang from the many-sided attacks on the whole philosophy and structure of the society which had emerged as a result of a century’s devotion to industrialization and material progress.