Victorian Essays

Victorian Essays

Victorian Essays

Victorian Essays

Excerpt

G. M. Young's Victorian England: the Portrait of an Age first appeared in 1936, and was published as an Oxford Paperback in 1960. The present volume contains the Victorian pieces from the three volumes of essays that Young published in his lifetime. The two together constitute the corpus of his Victorian work. The Portrait has established itself as the most penetrating and compre- hensive account that we have of the Victorian age. Indeed, in its sympathetic, though far from uncritical effort to explore all aspects of the age and view them in historical focus, it has been regarded as opening a new era in Victorian studies. Nothing, fortunately, is final in historical writing, but it may well be some time before anyone so variously equipped, with such powers of historical in- sight and composition, ventures on the same path again. But the very effort to keep all elements and aspects in place in a moving picture, which is the distinction of the work, made a taut structure and close, often highly allusive writing a necessity. Many may therefore find it pleasanter and easier to approach the work of the 'master of Victorian studies', as a recent American reviewer called Young, through the Essays, where he is more unbuttoned and at ease; those who know the Portrait, on the other hand, will find in the Essays expansions and elaborations of its themes.

Young never held a teaching post in a university for more than a year or two; his career until he was in his forties was as a civil servant; he published nothing till he was fifty; and even in his later years much of his time was given to public work and to letters in general. The historian profited, but historical output suffered. Life and writings were, nevertheless, of a piece with Young. Born in 1882, he went to St Paul's School; thence, in 1900 to Balliol College, as a scholar, and took a first in Classical Moderations, a second in Litterae Humaniores, and, in 1905, the blue riband of Oxford scholarship, an All Souls fellowship. His Civil Service career began three years later, when he joined the Board of Educa- tion in what, under the reorganization then in train at the hands . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.