A View of Victorian Literature (Magill's Literary Annual 1979)
Geoffrey Tillotson’s A View of Victorian Literature is a text distilled from the author’s wide-ranging drafts and notes by his wife after his unexpected death in 1969. Kathleen Tillotson is a brilliant Victorianist in her own right and memorable for her remarkable book, Novels of the 1840’s. What Geoffrey Tillotson had written before he died was intended originally to comprise the first volume and portions of the second volume of the new Oxford History of English Literature, so that what we have in the present text is a collection of nine essays, each treating one literary figure dominant in England during the first half of the Victorian period. As Kathleen Tillotson states in her preface to the volume, “all, except for Carlyle, were born in the remarkable decade 1809-18.” In addition to Carlyle and Charlotte and Emily Brontë, who are discussed in a single chapter, the writers who are treated in separate chapters here include Dickens, Thackeray, Mrs. Gaskell, Trollope, Tennyson, and Browning. These chapters are introduced by what turn out to be the freshest chapters of the book: the Introduction and a thirty-page excursion onto the Victorian table-land of “Earnestness.”
In his authoritative and now essential study, The Victorian Frame of Mind, Walter Houghton quite sensibly pronounced that “to look into the Victorian mind is to see the primary sources of the modern mind.” In the first two chapters of...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1979)
Books and Bookmen. XXIII, May, 1978, p. 53.
Choice. XV, October, 1978, p. 1056.
Encounter. LI, July, 1978, p. 73.
Observer. July 9, 1978, p. 26.
Times Literary Supplement. July 21, 1978, p. 827.
Virginia Quarterly Review. LIV, Autumn, 1978, p. 128.
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