English Literature of the Victorian Age

A Course for 2nd-Year Erasmus Visiting Students of English



Course convenor: Assoc. Prof. Yana Rowland PhD



SURGERY HOURS 1st semester 2018/2019: Rectorate, Office 353, Mondays, 7.30 –8.30.




  1. Victorianism and its cultural boundaries in (inter-)national terms. Industrialism and Utilitarianism.


  1. Early Victorianism – the oracles, the Condition-of-England novel and the "beginnings of realism. Elizabeth Gaskell.


  1. The Realist Novel – a dialogue with society. Charles Dickens and the Victorian Bildungsroman.


  1. William Makepeace Thackeray: omniscient narrative and "the manager of the performance".


  1. ‘The Brontë Club'. Gothicism and (female) life-writing.


  1. Currents and floods': George Eliot and the development of the psychological novel. Intrusive narration.


  1. Naturalism & Determinism. Thomas Hardy: prophecy and alienation.


  1. Victorian Poetry:


  • Late Romantics: Tennyson & Browning.

  • Femininity: E. B. Browning and Christina Rossetti.

  • The Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood: D. G. Rossetti. W. Morris, A. Ch. Swinburne.


  1. Theatre & Drama in the Victorian Age.


  1. "Closures" and "beginnings":

  2. Fin de siècle. Aestheticism and Decadence. Oscar Wilde.

  3. Other spaces, other lores. Transgressing Englishness: R. L. Stevenson & R. Kipling.


NB! Last week of semester Progress Test (admission to exam) – a general overview of major subjects covered.


Instructions, Requirements, Examination Format


For the purposes of a successful completion of this course all students are required to:

  • Be present at, and take part in, all discussions during seminars

  • Bring their own texts for each seminar, having read the excerpts assigned for homework

  • Contributively study valuable relevant criticism

  • Master the set of critical terms and philosophical concepts implemented in this course

  • Resist BY ALL MEANS (!!!) any temptations/urge to cheat: i.e. to copy during a test, or to plagiarise from available critical sources, or from one another!

  • Come for each respective class on time!

  • Facilitate an atmosphere of civilized discussion!

* It would indeed be common courtesy of a student to inform the course convenor of an inability to attend (a) seminar(s) in advance: this would guarantee better synchronization with the pace of work – planned and actual.




Your final mark comprises the following elements:

  • participation in discussions during seminars

  • written essay on a topic from the essay list offered hereby

  • tests (mid-term and final eliminatory)

  • any other tasks, compulsory for the whole course of students

  • individual assignments (optional)





  1. Charles Dickens (1812-1870): Great Expectations

  2. William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863): Vanity Fair

  3. Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855): Jane Eyre

  4. Emily Brontë (1818-1848): Wuthering Heights;

  5. George Eliot (1819-1880): The Mill on the Floss

  6. Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892): The Lady of Shalott; The Lotos-Eaters; Break, Break, Break; Ulysses; Crossing the Bar

  7. Robert Browning (1812-1889): My Last Duchess; Porphyria's Lover; ‘Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came'

  8. Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882): The Blessed Damozel

  9. William Morris (1834-1896): The Defence of Guenevere

  10. Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909): The Garden of Proserpine

  11. Matthew Arnold (1822-1888): Dover Beach; Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse

  12. Thomas Hardy (1840-1928): Tess of the D'Urbervilles

  13. Oscar Wilde (1854-1900): The Picture of Dorian Gray

  14. Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894) – Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde






Dickens' Orphans (based on Great Expectations)

Narrative Gimmicks in W. M. Thackeray's Vanity Fair

Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre: he Growth of Female Consciousness

Diaries and Embedded Tales in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights

Character and Environment in George Eliot's The Mill on the Floss

Prisoners and Travellers in Early Tennyson – The Lady of Shalott; The Lotos-Eaters; Break, Break, Break; Ulysses;

Crossing the Bar

Robert Browning's Dramatic Monologues

Tess' Roundabout Journeys (based on Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas hardy)

Art and Responsibility in Oscar Wilde's Brontë's




Semestral seminar weekly planning



  1. Charles Dickens. Great Expectations (1861). Humour and Melodrama. Character formation – dialogue and 1st-person narrative. Portrayal & symbolism. Bildungsroman. Orphanhood and authorship.


  1. William Makepeace ThackerayVanity Fair. A Novel without a Hero (1848). The omniscient narrator. Documenting history & subverting morality. Heroes and heroic worship. Time and Space – epic/drawing-room. History and individual fate.


  1. Charlotte BrontëJane Eyre (1847). Autobiography and gender issues (the governess as a social category). Education and individuation. Biological deprivation and social privation. Evangelicalism: damnation and pardon.


  1. Emily Brontë – Wuthering Heights (1847). Gothicism, pantheism, subjective idealism. Structural peculiarities: narrators, credibility, the progress of Time. Remembrance, spiritual fulfilment and carnal presence. Personal freedom and social norm. Mysticism, stoicism, the motif of revenge.


  1. George Eliot – The Mill on the Floss (1860). The microscopic eye. Conscience and Consciousness. Fraternal fidelity & ideological bondage. Self-realisation & social duty. Theology & Teleology.


  1. Thomas Hardy – Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891). Personal ethics & doctrinaire mentality. The protagonist as an Outcast/outlaw. The motif of forgiveness. Regionalism, landscape painting and elegiac nuances.


  1. Alfred Tennyson. Alienation, medievalism and the remedial capacity of art. Discussion of select poetic works.


  1. Robert Browning. Male artist & objectified female individual in cultural history. Discussion of select poetic works.


  1. Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Christina Rossetti. Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850) & Goblin Market (1862).


  1. Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891). Aestheticism, decadence and the issue of conscience. Artistic liberty and aesthetic responsibility. The Preface to the novel.



Critical reference:


Alcorn, John M., The Nature Novel from Hardy to Lawrence (Columbia University Press, 1977)

Allen, Walter, The English Novel. A Short Critical History (Penguin Books, 1991)

Allott, Miriam, (ed.) Novelists on the Novel (London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975)

Armstrong, Isobel, Victorian Poetry. Poetry, Poetics and Politics (London and New York, Routledge, 1993)

Armstrong, Nancy, Desire and Domestic Fiction. A Political History of the Novel (OUP, 1987)

Assman, Aleida, Cultural Memory and Western Civilization (Cambridge University Press, 2011)

Auerbach, Nina, The Woman and the Demon. The Life a Victorian Myth (Harvard University Press, 1982)

Baker, William & Womack, Kenneth, A Companion to the Victorian Novel (Westport Connecticut & London: Greenwood Press, 2002)

Baldick, Chris, The Social Mission of English Criticism (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987)

Bergonzi, Bernard, The Turn of a Century. Essays on Victorian and Modern English Literature (Macmillan, 1973)

Blamires, Harry, A Short History of English Literature (London and New York: Routledge, 1994)

Borklund, Elmer. Contemporary Literary Critics (London: St James Press & NY: St Martin's Press, 1977)

(eds.) Bown, Nicola &Burdett, Carolyn & Thurschwell, Pamela, The Victorian Supernatural (Cambridge University Press, 2004)

Boyer, John Wilson & Brooks, John Lee, The Victorian Age. Prose, Poetry and Drama (New jersey, Prentice – Hall, INC., 1954)

Bradbury, Malcolm, The Modern British Novel (Penguin Books, 1994)

Bratton, J. S., The Victorian Popular Ballad (Macmillan, 1975)

Bristow, Joseph, (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Poetry (CUP, 2000)

Brett, R. L., Faith and Doubt. Religion and Secularisation in Literature from Wordsworth to Larkin (Mercer University Press, 1997)

Bronfen, Elizabeth, Over Her Dead Body. Death, Femininity and the Aesthetic (Manchester University Press, 1992)

Brooks, Cleanth, The Well Wrought Urn. Studies in the Structure of Poetry (London: Dennis Dobson, 1968)

Byron, Glennis, Dramatic Monologue (Routledge, 2003)

Campbell, Matthew, Rhythm and Will in Victorian Poetry (Cambridge University Press, 2004)

Caroll, David, George Eliot and the Conflict of Interpretations, A Reading of the Novels (Cambridge University Press, 2006)

Caserio, Robert L. & Hawes, Clement, The Cambridge History of the English Novel (CUP, 2011)

Carter, Ronald & McRae, John, The Penguin Guide to Literature in English in Britain and Ireland (Penguin English, 2001)

Cazamian, Louis, A History of English Literature. Modern Times (1660-1932), translated from French by W. D. MacInnes & the author (New York: Macmillan, 1945)

Chapple, J. A. V., Science and Literature in the Nineteenth Century (Macmillan, 1986)

Colville, Derek, Victorian Poetry and the Romantic Religion (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1970)

Cox, Michael, The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature (OUP, 2004)

(eds.) Cronin, R., Chapman, A., Harrison., A., A Companion to Victorian Poetry (Blackwell Publishing, 2007)

Davis, Philip, The Victorians – vol. 8 of the Oxford English Literary History (OUP, 2004)

Douglas-Fairhurst, Robert, Victorian Afterlives. The Shaping of Influence in 19th-century Literature (Oxford University Press, 2002)

Duncan, Ian, Modern Romance and Transformations of the Novel. The Gothic, Scott & Dickens (CUP, 2005)

Eagleton, Terry, The English Novel. An Introduction (Blackwell Publishing, 2008, < 2005)

Ellmann, Richard, Oscar Wilde (New York: Vintage Books, 1984)

Ermarth, Elizabeth Deeds, The English Novel in History: 1840-1895 (Routledge, 1997)

Evans, Ifor, English Poetry in the Later Nineteenth Century (London: Methuen & CO LTD, 1966)

/ed./ Flint, Kate, The Cambridge History of Victorian Literature (CUP, 2012)

Fowler, Alistair, A History of English Literature (Basil Blackwell, 1989)

Friedman, Alan, The Turn of the Novel. The Transition to Modern Fiction (OUP, 1970)

Gillie, Christopher, Character in English Literature (London: Chatto & Windus, 1970)

Griffiths, Eric, The Printed Voice of Victorian Poetry (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989)

Hillis Miller, J., Charles Dickens. The World of His Novels (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1958)

Hillis Miller, J., Victorian Subjects (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1990)

Holman, Hugh C. & Harmon, W., A Handbook to Literature (Macmillan, 1986)

Hobsbaum, Philip, A Reader's guide to Charles Dickens (London: Thames &Hudson, 1972)

Holloway, John, The Victorian Sage. Studies in Argument New York: W. W. Norton & Company Inc., 1965)

Horsman, Alan, The Victorian Novel (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990)

Hughes, Linda K., The Cambridge Introduction to Victorian Poetry (CUP, 2010)

Kermode, Frank, The Sense of an Ending. Studies in the Theory of Fiction (OUP, 1968)

Kettle, Arnold, An Introduction to the English Novel (Hutchinson University Library, 1957)

Kinkaid, James R., Annoying the Victorians (New York and London: Routledge, 1995)

Leavis, F. R., The Great Tradition. George Eliot, Henry James, Joseph Conrad (Penguin Books, 1983)

Levine, George, How to Read the Victorian Novel (Blackwell Publishing, 2008)

Leighton, Angela, Victorian Women Poets. Writing Against the Heart (Harvester Wheathsheaf, 1992)

/eds./ Mc Farland, Ian, Fergusson, David, David. A, Kilby, Karen, Torrance, Iain R., The Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology (CUP, 2011)

Mermin, Dorothy & Tucker, Herbert F., Victorian Literature: 1830-1900 (Harcourt College Publishers, 2004)

Morse, David, High Victorian Culture (Macmillan, 1993)

O'Gorman, Francis (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Victorian Culture (CUP, 2010)

O'Neill, Michael (ed.), The Cambridge History of English Poetry (CUP, 2010)

Ormond, Leonée, Alfred Tennyson. A Literary Life (Macmillan, 1993)

Perkins, David. A History of Modern Poetry. From the 1890s to the High Modernist Mode (Cambridge, Mass. & London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1977)

Pollard, Arthur, (ed.) The Victorians – Vol. 6 of the Penguin History of Literature (Penguin Books, 1993)

Poplawski, Paul, English Literature in Context (Cambridge: CUP, 2007)

Quennell, Peter (& Johnson, Hamish), A History of English Literature (London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1973)

Rauch, Alan, Useful Knowledge. The Victorians, Morality, and the March of Intellect (Durham & London: Duke University Press, 2001)

Rawson, Claude, The Cambridge Companion to English Poets (CUP, 2011)

Raymond, Claire, The Posthumous Voice in Women's Writing from Mary Shelley to Sylvia Plath (Ashgate, 2006)

Richards, Bernard, English Poetry of the Victorian Period (London and New York: Longman, 1992)

Rowland, Yana, Movable Thresholds: On Victorian Poetry and Beyond in Nineteen Glimpses (Plovdiv: Plovdiv University Press, 2014)

Rowland, Yana, The Treatment of the Themes of Mortality in the Poetry of the Brontë Sisters (Plovdiv: Plovdiv University Press, 2006)

Sampson, George, The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature (Cambridge University Press, 1997)

Sanders, Andrew, The Short Oxford History of English Literature (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1993)

Schad, John, Queer Fish. Christian Unreason from Darwin to Derrida (Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2004)

Schad, John, Victorians in Theory. From Derrida to Browning (Manchester & New York: Manchester University Press, 1999)

Schmidt, Michael, Lives of the Poets (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999)

Shattock, Joanne (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to English Literature: 1830 – 1914 (CUP, 2010)

Shattock, Joanne, (ed.) Women and Literature in Britain: 1800-1900, (CUP, 2001)

Shaw, W. David, Victorians and Mystery (Ithaca & London, Cornell University Press, 1990)

Sicher, Efraim. Rereading the City. Rereading Dickens. Representation, the Novel and Urban Realism (New York: AKS Press, Inc., 2003)

Slinn, E. Warwick, Victorian Poetry as Cultural Critique. The Politics of Performative Language (Charlottesville & London: University of Virginia Press, 2003)

Sternlieb, Lisa, The Female Narrator in the British Novel (Palgrave, 2002)

Stewart, J. I. M., Writers of the Early Twentieth Century. Hardy to Lawrence (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990)

Stone, Donald D., Communications with the Future. Matthew Arnold in Dialogue (Ann Arbor, The University of Michigan Press, 2000)

Thornley, G. C. & Roberts, Gwyneth, An Outline of English Literature (Longman, 1996)

Trilling, Lionel & Bloom, Harold, Victorian Prose and Poetry (Oxford University Press, 1980)

Trotter, David, The English Novel in History: 1895-1920 (Routledge, 1993)

Tucker, Herbert F., (ed.) A Companion to Victorian Literature & Culture (Blackwell Publishing, 2004)

Turner, Paul, Victorian Poetry, Drama and Miscellaneous Prose: 1832 – 1890 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990)

Van Ghent, Dorothy, The English Novel. Form and Function (New York: Rineheart & Company, INC., 1953)

Ward, A. C., English Literature. Chaucer to Bernard Shaw (Longmans, Green and CO, 1958)

Wheeler, Michael, Heaven, Hell and the Victorians (CUP, 1994)

Willey, Basil, Nineteenth Century Studies. Coleridge to Matthew Arnold (London: Chatto & Windus, 1961)

Wilt, Judith, Ghosts of the Gothic. Austen, Eliot and Lawrence (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1980)

Wolfreys, Julian, Victorian Hauntings. Spectrality, Gothic, the Uncanny and Literature (Palgrave, 2002)




English Literature of the Victorian Age

A Historical Outline

1837 – 1901: Reign of Queen Victoria


  • ~ 1740–1850→ – The Industrial Revolution – a term first used by the English economic historian Arnold Toynbee (1882) and descriptive of the period of change from domestic production to production in factories under capitalist control; the introduction of water and steam power to drive machines; a surge of innovation transforming several major industries; the economic stability after the Glorious Revolution (1688-89), the encouragement of individualism, the development of a strong banking and credit system, inventiveness and enterprise – those were profitable signs of non-conformity; the abundance of materials (coal, iron, wool) and the availability of the expanding international (markedly colonial) market of Britain – those were all pre-requisites for The Industrial Revolution to occur; major changes occurred in the textile, iron and steel industries, in mechanical engineering and pottery; the textile industry took the lead from the 1740s onward and raw material proved its quality of power source so that the new industrial regions (sources of raw material) became the North and the West (Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Sheffield); the steam engine was perfected by James Watt in 1769 and the train system grew rapidly and eventually became dominant in transportation in the 19th century; the industrial working class was created;

  • 1824 – death of Lord Gordon, George Byron (poet & playwright)

  • 1825 – The Law Society established

  • 1828 – University College London founded

  • 1828 – The Repeal of the Test Act – non-communicants of the established church allowed to sit in parliament and to obtain university degrees

  • 1829-1830 – Achievement of free civil and political rights for Roman Catholics; abolishment of the Penal Code of year 1571 (designed to suppress the practice of Roman Catholicism through division of land inherited, penalties for refusing to attend the Church of England ranging to the point of disqualification from office etc.); previously the Toleration Act of 1689 had allowed English non-conformists their own place of worship, teachers and preachers and in Scotland Presbyterianism was finally established in 1690.

  • 26th June 1830 – King George IV died (reigned 1820-1830)

  • 1830 – 1837 – Reign of king William IV

  • 1830 – 1880 – a period of British Self-Confidence and Semi-Isolationism in terms of direct/voluntary involvement with European affairs

  • 1831 – Cholera Epidemic bursts out

  • Reform Acts (through Reform Bills throughout the 19th century: in 1832, 1867 and 1884). Measures of electoral reform: disenfranchisement of rotten (decayed) boroughs and redistribution of representation in Parliament (extension of franchise to freeholders, copyholders, short-leaseholders and tenants, householders of certain property and worth of value) – increase of the electorate (inc. Ireland and Scotland) with the purpose of achieving exact correspondence between population and representation (inc. previously non-represented districts). The Reform Acts MUST NOT be confused with the term Reformation, which would in general context be understood as PROTESTANIZATION of Britain (through the Acts of Uniformity and of Supremacy passed by the English Church during the reign of queen Elizabeth I, 1558-1603, whereby the English Monarch became Head of Church) and through the universal introduction of the Book of Common Prayer (1559).

  • 1832 – death of Sir Walter Scott (novelist & poet)

  • 1833 – establishment of the Oxford Movement (Roman Catholic in essence)

  • 1833 – Abolition of Slavery throughout the British Empire (1787- the Abolitionist Society formed under Wilberforce and Clarkson; 1807 – slave trade abolished; 1823 – the Anti-Slavery society formed)

  • 1833 – The Factory Act passed – children under 9 to be excluded from factories, those aged 9-13 got a 48-hour working time

  • 1834 – The Poor Law Amendment Act – regulation of pauperism through boards of guardians (elected by ratepayers) whereby outdoor relief ceased and paupers were forced into workhouses with particularly and deliberately harsh conditions of living.

  • 16th October 1834 – The Palace of Westminster on fire.

  • 1834-1837 – construction of the Houses of Parliament in the Gothic Style of architecture

  • 1837 – Opening of the British Museum

  • 1837 – The People's Charter issued. 1838-1848 – Chartism: a movement for political reform. The 1838 charter (drawn by William Lovett) demanded: annual parliaments, universal male suffrage, equal electoral districts, end to property qualification for MPs, voting by ballot, payment of MPs. The underlying ideology was forged by working-class resentment against economic distress, the poor law, and the failed attempt to develop trade unionism. The Chartist Petitions (1839, 1842, and 1848) were all rejected by parliament.

  • 1837 – abolition of the pillory

  • 1838 – Holiday House (by Catherine Sinclair) is published – the first Victorian book especially aimed at children and dealing with mischief and domestic revelry

  • 1839-1842, 1878, 1880 – The Afghan Wars – wars aimed at liberating Afghanistan from British rule

  • 1843 – The Ethnological Society founded

  • 1844, 1848 – limiting the number of working hours for women and children (The factory Acts)

  • 1845 – Blighted potato crop in Ireland: 1847-1851 period of ‘the Irish famine' – starvation and death large numbers of Irish people (around 1 million); the government was both unable and unwilling to provide adequate relief; a further million Irish people emigrated, mainly to the USA;

  • 1846 – The Repeal of the Corn Laws – the gradual process of the abolition of the bar on the importation of grain from abroad; eventually the duty on importing foreign grain became only nominal;

  • 1846 – The ‘pupil-teacher' education system inaugurated by Sir James Kay Shuttleworth – students aged 13-18 would study & teach other students by means of which they would gain practice and qualify as professional teachers

  • 1847 – The Town Improvement Clauses Act – aimed at improving the outlook, stability and hygiene of British cities, mainly in the systems of paving, draining and lighting

  • 1848 – Revolutions in Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Austria)

  • 1848-1849 – Cholera Epidemic

  • 1849 – Annexation of the Punjab province (India)

  • 1850 – Roman Catholic Hierarchy restored in England by Pope Pius IX

  • 1851 – The Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace (London) – demonstration of a variety of technical wonders (representing the industry of all nations)

  • 1851 – gold reserves discovered at Ballarat (Australia): a period of large-scale emigration

  • 1854 – New-Zealand granted self-government

  • 1854-1856 – The Crimean War (Russia v/s France, Britain and Turkey) – resulted in a high number of victims, disease and deprivation

  • 1857 – The Matrimonial Causes Act – an obligation for a divorced husband to provide maintenance for his former wife

  • 1857-1858 – The Indian Mutiny – a rebellion against British rule, originating in the Bengal army of the East India Company (a British economic trade formation) and supported by some civilians. In essence – demonstration of rejection of the process of westernisation of the sub-continent (preceded, peculiarly, by the resistance to the introduction of the new Enfield paper cartridge). In 1858 the India Act ended the havoc (which had previously been savagely extinguished): East India Company's territories and forces were transferred to the Crown.

  • 1858 – The Medical Registration Act passed – abolition of regional licensing and instalment of the hospital as the seat of medical instruction

  • 1859 – publication of Charles Darwin's monumental work The Origin Of Species

  • 1860s-1870s – gradual conquest of Africa

  • 1864, 1866, 1869 – Contagious Diseases Acts passed – inspection and hospitalisation of prostitutes who would threaten to spread veneric diseases amongst men

  • 1865 – Uprising in Jamaica (600 Black Jamaicans killed)

  • 1867 – formation of the North of England Council for promoting the Higher Education of Women

  • 1868 – abolition of Public Execution

  • 1869 – Girton College (Cambridge) founded – the first female-only college

  • 1869 – establishment of the Metaphysical Society (ceased in 1879)

  • 1870 – The Forster Education Act passed – Universal Elementary Education (5 to 12 years of age) introduced in England, Scotland and Wales; the first state school system in Britain

  • 1870 – a peak of birth-rate in Britain

  • 1870, 1882 – The Married Women's Property Acts – gradual granting of the right to women to own property before, during and after marriage

  • 1871 – Disestablishment of the Anglican Church in Ireland (under the act passed in 1869) and in Wales in 1920 (under legislation in 1914 & 1919). The disestablishment meant in effect a termination of formal links between church and state.

  • 1871 – Newnham College Founded – a female-only college

  • 1871 – All degrees and offices officially available to Non-Anglicans

  • 1871 – the Royal Anthropological Society founded

  • 1871 – Trade Unions were legalized

  • 1871 – the Paris Commune

  • 1873-1874, 1879 – Wars against the Ashantis & Zulus in Africa

  • 1874–1850 – Benjamin Disraeli prime-ministry – a period of Toryism, conservatism, improvement of hygiene and trade industry, as well as territorial expansion

  • 1875 – establishment of the Friendly Societies Act – aimed at providing charitable gifts for people 50 years old and over

  • 1876 – Queen Victoria becomes empress of India

  • 13th November 1877 – Bloody Sunday – police breaks up a radical socialist meeting in Trafalgar Square

  • 1880, 1899-1902 – Conflicts with the Boers in South Africa (The Boer Wars)

  • 1880 – George Eliot dies

  • 1881 – A revised version of the Bible issued (linguistically closer to the original) – New Testament; 1885 – Old Testament part revised

  • 1883 – National Union of Teachers formed

  • 1882-1884 – The Egyptian Campaigns – Egypt gained independence only in 1926

  • 1884 – The Society for Authors founded

  • 1884 – The Berlin Conference – division of Africa among the European Powers

  • 1886 – The Repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts of 1860s

  • 1983 – The Bar Council established – official representative organ of barristers

  • 1894 – The Society of Women Journalists is founded

  • 1896 – The Publishers' Association if formed

  • 1897 – Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee

  • 1898 – The Old Age Pensions Committee names the age 65 as the official retirement age for men

  • 1898 – The Criminal Evidence Act is passed – a criminal accused would be given the right to testify on oath at his/her own trial

  • 1902 – secondary education becomes compulsory in Britain

  • 1908 – opening of the Victoria and Albert museum