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“It is now forty years,” Walter Houghton writes, “since Lytton Strachey decided that we knew too much about the Victorian era to view its culture as a whole.” Recently the tide has turned and the Victorians have been the subject of sympathetic “period pieces,” critical and biographical works, and extensive studies of their age, but the Victorian mind itself remains blurred for us—a bundle of various and often paradoxical ideas and attitudes. Mr. Houghton explores these ideas and attitudes, studies their interrelationships, and traces their simultaneous existence to the general character of the age. His inquiry is the more important because it demonstrates that to look into the Victorian mind is to see some of the primary sources of the modern mind.
Posted February 5, 2009
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