The Norton Victorian Period Introduction Abridged

Victoria the Queen was so moralHer writers wrote rhymes quite unfloral No longer reflective But rather socially attentive Their successors found their inflated discourse preventive

The Manchester slums were a-twitter The markets were stuck in the shitter The writers complained The chimneysweeps strained And the middle-class people were bitter

The economy grew quite much Technology and markets helped and such England – she was concerned beyond the borders Religious debates were worth mere quarters And Kingsley worried the youth had fallen out of touch

England was frivolous and gay Then fought a bloody war the next day As the English empire crumbled Colonies revolted, British troops fumbled And new ideals paved the way

The importance of being earnest Was lost after Albert the Sternest Then Dickens and Wilde Looked upon us and smiled While Victorian ideals they burnest

Ere the Victorian novel Women were wanted to grovel Some debate then arose Through the elegant prose Over whether women should grovel An expansion in things to read Education fueled this need Tracts became the norm Books sold in short form Both written and printed with speed

Within novels these poems developed And new subjects these poems enveloped Art for arts sake From the new and old age Through pictures emotions do show up

The growth of the press periodical A vehicle to illustrate societal The clumsy and nonexact nonfictional Scientific and materialistic, a claim for literature cultural With monetary reward for intellectual

The Victorians mad for the stage Saw burlesques, hamlets, and “problem plays” They watched Boucicault, Wilde, Gilbert, Sullivan, Shaw And dissected issues of their days

A century of both colonial loss and gain And the development of the middle-class brain A time when the novel became prominent And British literature was dominant— Hooray for Queen Victoria’s reign!