The Victorian Age

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The Victorian Age, 1873-1901
The Victorian age got the name of the queen who lived then, Queen Victoria. She was obstinate and not so clever, but she truly loved her country.
England became the centre of the biggest empire of the
world during her reign. Actually the greatest the world had
ever known.
When she died, she ruled over one quarter of the globe.

The industrial revolution grew faster in England than
anywhere else in the world. Life became more mechanised and new factories was sawn everywhere. More people were educated, and could follow the events and make a personal opinion.
After 1851, more than half of the English population lived in towns and cities. This was more than 50 years earlier it happened in other countries. The middle class started to get a shape. In the expanding industry, people could climb to a better economic situation by working hard.
Although England had better comfort than other countries, all inhabitants did not fell very happy. After all, the employers of the factories often preferred females and children, because it was cheaper than hiring men. So despite the fact that education was easily available, parents of poor families needed their children to work instead of going to school. This could be at an age of ten.
Another thing that had failed in this so before-all-other-countries-country, England, was the aid system, and this was one thing that Charles Dickens felt was his calling to write about.

Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens is one of the most well known authors who lived during the Victorian era. He was born at Landport, in Portsea, England, February 7, 1812, and on the 9th of June, 1870, he passed away. His remains repose in Westminster Abbey.
Mrs. Dickens was a lady of energy and culture, and from her the boy received the rudiments of Latin. The father became embarrassed and was imprisoned in Marshalsea for debt. Charles was set to work, only twelve years old, in a blacking warehouse, for six shillings per week. The rest of his family joined his father in prison. John Dickens got out three month later, which was a relief for Charles. He didn’t at all like the factory, and his father wanted him to go back to school.
He was a reporter for a several different political speeches for five years, between 1831 and 1836. First “True Sun”, then for the “Mirror of Parliament”, and finally for the “Morning Chronicle”.

Dickens´ life as an author started in 1834. A series of nine sketches under the title of "A Dinner at Poplar;” was sent to the "Old Monthly Magazine" and later he was engaged to write some for an evening off-shoot of the "Morning Chronicle." He wrote under the nickname "Boz," which actually was one of his brothers’ nicknames. In 1836 the first series of "Sketches by Boz" was collected and published in two volumes. So popular did the "Sketches" at once become, that the first edition was exhausted in a few months and another called for.
The novels of Dickens will live on because they take hold of the very well descriptions of the differences between the poor and the rich. Also between different races. That gap will always be there. Charles felt the life as an under paid slave and famous author. He of someone must know.
A few of his works: “David Copperfield” appeared in 1849, “A Tale of Two Cities,” 1859,
Great Expectations,” 1860-´61 and “Oliver Twist, “ 1838-1839.

Oscar Wilde
His full name was Oscar O´Flahertie Fingal Wills Wilde. He was born in Dublin, Ireland on October 16, 1854. Mother Lady Jane, also a poet, stood six feet tall and claimed to be "above respectability." She passed this passion on to her youngest son, Oscar.
He had been taught by his mother to see life as a performance, and he took her by her words. The wardrobe was designed by theatre costumiers who Wilde felt would understand the dramatic effects he was trying to get at. His standard costume was a velvet coat edged with braid, knee breeches, black silk stockings, a soft loose shirt with a wide collar, and a large, pale, green tie.
In 1878, 24 years old, Oscar Wilde moved to London with a degree from Oxford. Within two years, he had become a big name, but his first play, Vera or The Nihilists, was not that popular. Nor was his first outgiving of poetry.
In 1884, he married Constance Lloyd and got two sons, Cyril (1885) and Vyvyan (1886). He became the editor of Women´s World. But 1886 he went off to Oxford to visit young men. Shortly thereafter, he separated from his wife - claiming that he´d been away from home for so long that he´d forgotten the house number. He also cut off the contact with most of his family. He lost himself in the world of liquor. Ironically, it was during this “evil” period in his life (1888-1895) that most of his important works were written.
By May of 1895, Wilde was put in jail for two years. The Marquess of Queensbury had demand Wilde to stay away from his son, Lord Alfred Douglas. Wilde’s so called obsession with Lord Alfred finally resulted in jail.
Wilde made a few small attempts to come back after his life prison, he was never the same after his release in 1897.
In 1900, Oscar Wilde died, poor and alone in a Paris hotel. He was buried in the cemetery of Père Lachaise, but without much ceremony.

Alfred Lord Tennyson
Alfred Tennyson is English poet often considered as the biggest representative of the Victorian age in poetry. He was born on August 5, 1809 in Somersby, Lincolnshire. Alfred began to write poetry at an early age in the style of Lord Byron. After spending four unhappy years in school he got private lessons at home. Tennyson then studied at Trinity College in Cambridge, where he joined the literary club “The Apostles” and met Arthur Hallam, who became his closest friend. He published Poems, Chiefly Lyrical, in 1830, which included the popular "Mariana".
After getting bad critics for his next book “Poems” (1833), he stopped publish for nearly ten years. Hallam died suddenly the same year. This was a very heavy period to Tennyson, who began to write "In Memoriam" for his friend. The work took seventeen years.
After marrying Emily Sellwood, whom he had already met in 1836, the couple settled down on the Isle of Wight in 1853. From there the family moved in 1869 to Aldworth, Surrey. During these later years he produced some of his best poems.
In the 1870’s Tennyson wrote several plays, among them the poetic dramas Queen Mary (1875) and Harold (1876). In 1884 he was created a baron.
He died at Aldwort on October 6, 1892 and was buried in the Poets´ Corner in Westminster Abbey.
Alfred Lord Tennyson also was the man who wrote “Ring out, wild bell”, the poem that is read every New Years Eve.

Ring out, wild bell
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
- Alfred Lord Tennyson

Oliver is a poor and unhappy orphanage. He manage to escape, but are forced to live on the streets.
Here, he meets a friend, who takes him to a “club”, where lots of homeless children are staying. And this is their home. The only catch if you want to stay, is that you must work for the boss - as a thief.
Oliver does so, but one day he gets caught. But he is protected by an angel. The man, who lives in one of the fines blocks, wants to adopt him. Of course, Oliver’s chief is not so eager to cooperate in this q...

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Inactive member [2004-05-24]   The Victorian Age
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