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David Bebbington

The spirituality of Brunswick Chapel, Leeds, in the Victorian era illustrates the legacy of John Wesley when Wesleyan Methodism was a power in the land. The priorities were conversion, turning to Christ in repentance and faith, the Bible as the source of divine instruction, the cross as the way in which salvation was achieved and activism as the proper human response. These features were prominent in the whole of the broader Evangelical movement which Wesley inaugurated. There was concern with death, and especially last words, in providing evidence of the assurance on which Wesley insisted and which was cultivated in the class meetings he began. Prayer, Charles Wesley’s hymns and sermons loomed large. Men and women had their own channels for the expression of piety, but some avenues, especially in Sunday school teaching, were open to either sex. Some still professed Wesley’s sublime doctrine of entire sanctification. Towards the end of the period there were signs that the tradition was decaying, with the spirituality becoming shallower, but for the bulk of the period the tradition was flourishing.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Attitudes, interventions, legacies

The Victorian era, encompassing the latter six decades of the nineteenth century, was a period by which significant areas of the British Isles had become industrialised and urbanised. Both processes exacerbated the extent of impairing conditions, ranging from industrial injury through the prevalence of debilitating physiological illnesses. Disability and the Victorians: attitudes, interventions, legacies brings together the work of eleven scholars and focuses on the history of disability and, while showcasing the work of a diverse gathering of historians, also gives a flavour of how disability history engages the work of scholars from other disciplines and how they, in turn, enhance historical thought and understanding. Equally, while the focus is on the Victorian era, a time during which society changed significantly, both at the bottom and from the top, it was also a time in which patterns developed that were to have an enduring influence. Therefore, a taste of that enduring influence is presented in chapters that suggest the resilience of Victorian thought and practices in the modern era. Consequently, an underlying aim is to encourage readers to take a broad view, both of ‘disability’ and of Victorian influences and values.

Judith Richards

Although the reputation of Englands first queen regnant, Mary Tudor (died 1558) had remained substantially unchanged in the intervening centuries, there were always some defenders of that Catholic queen among the historians of Victorian England. It is worth noting, however, that such revisionism made little if any impact on the schoolroom history textbooks, where Marys reputation remained much as John Foxe had defined it. Such anxiety as there was about attempts to restore something of Marys reputation were made more problematic by the increasing number and increasingly visible presence of a comprehensive Catholic hierarchy in the nineteenth century, and by high-profile converts to the Catholic faith and papal authority. The pre-eminent historians of the later Victorian era consistently remained more favourable to the reign of Elizabeth, seen as the destroyer,of an effective Catholic church in England.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Open Access (free)
Batman Saves the Congo: How Celebrities Disrupt the Politics of Development
Alexandra Cosima Budabin
Lisa Ann Richey

bodies. The term ‘celebrity humanitarianism’ was coined to recognise the expanding ambit for celebritised forms of global humanitarian and charity work, though the phenomenon has accompanied humanitarianism from its early days ( Richey, 2016a ). The historical roots of Affleck’s twenty-first-century celebrity humanitarianism to ‘save’ the Congo can be traced back to Victorian-era work on behalf of overseas causes by E. D. Morel 3 and his countrymen ( Brockington, 2014

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

This book analyses the development of male leisure against the changing notions of citizenship which underpinned perceptions of British society during the period 1850-1945. It opens with an examination of the 'leisure' problem of the middle decades of the nineteenth century. After the defeat of Chartism and associated challenges to the employers' right to organise the workplace, factory owners, the clergy and philanthropists established schemes of rational recreation designed to attract and educate working-class males. The book explores how schemes of rational recreation attempted to create the model citizen and the impact of these strategies on male working-class leisure. Taking three influential leisure activities - drink, the music hall and association football - the book explores their impact on both concepts of citizenship and male leisure patterns. In addition, commercial leisure also highlighted the marked gender divides in leisure activities found within working-class households. The book investigates the generational issues that shaped male working-class leisure. The increase in non-apprenticed semi-skilled work, particularly in the 'new' industry regions, raised fears that monotonous working practices and new leisure activities were a dangerous social cocktail. Moreover the book investigates how, during the late Victorian and early Edwardian era, the problem of a 'degenerate' youth became entwined with anxieties over the future of empire. It further contextualises male leisure against the dominant concerns between 1918 and 1945. This era saw the suburbanisation of British cities, continued anxieties over male citizenry and increased international tensions that led to war.

The political and aesthetic imagination of Edwardian imperialists

Some of the most compelling and enduring creative work of the late Victorian and Edwardian Era came from committed imperialists and conservatives. This book explores the relationship of the artists with conservatism and imperialism, movements that defy easy generalisations in 1899. It does so by examining the work of writers Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Conrad, Rider Haggard and John Buchan along with the composer Edward Elgar and the architect Herbert Baker. The book presents an analysis of their mutual infatuation with T. E. Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia, who represented all their dreams for the future British Empire. It also explores the reasons why Lawrence did not, could not, perform the role in which his elder admirers cast him, as creative artist and master statesman of British Empire. Haggard's intrusion into Sigmund Freud's dream world at a critical point in the development of psychoanalytic theory suggests a divergent approach to the novels of imperial adventure. Writing imaginative literature about India as an imperialist enabled Kipling to explore a whole universe of perverse and forbidden pleasures without blowing the top off the volcano. Elgar occupies a higher position in the world of classical music than anyone imagined even at the zenith of his popularity in the Edwardian era. John Buchan mixed art and politics to a greater extent than any British writer, especially with his 'The Loathly Opposite'. The real-life political counterparts of the imperial romance were Britain's experiments with indirect rule from Fiji and Zululand to Nigeria and Tanganyika.

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Diane Mason

The discourse on masturbation, in terms of its cultural implications at least, does not conclude with the Victorian era. Indeed, it persists to the present, in a popular, albeit frequently comedic, form independent of any sustaining contemporary medical support. This much might be gleaned from Philip Roth’s 1969 novel, Portnoy’s Complaint , in which the narrator frantically masturbates himself into a sense of guilt utilising, among other things, his sister’s ‘cotton panties’, a cored apple and a ‘piece of liver’ which he ‘violated

in The secret vice
Abstract only
Laura Peters

to a number of discourses on the importance of the family in circulation during the Victorian era. Firstly, the passage articulates a structure of feeling regarding Victorian attitudes towards family, home and place – the latter term being used in literal, class and métonymie senses. The central importance of middle-class notions of the family and home rest in their functioning as a site of morality

in Orphan texts
Michael Worboys

Edwin Landseer was the most famous painter of the Victorian era and dogs were his forte. His paintings were popular across society. The Queen was a patron and commissioned many portraits of her pets. He had friends in the underclass of dog stealers and dealers, from whom he acquired many of his models. Engravings of his paintings circulated widely as prints, making ‘a Landseer’ a common sight in parlours across Britain. His paintings were admired for revealing dogs’ human-like feelings, emotions and even

in Doggy people
Michael Worboys

Jack Russell is now identified with a breed of Fox Terrier, but he was best known as a parson sportsman in the Victorian era. His obituary notice in the Illustrated London News in 1883 portrayed him as ‘the well-known North Devon clergyman, or rather country gentlemen in clerical orders, as he was better known for his performances in the hunting-field and his social popularity’. 1 His fame was international. He had obituary notices in American newspapers. In the Washington Post , for example, he was

in Doggy people