The Broadview Anthology of Victorian Prose, 1832-1901
  • Publication Date: August 20, 2012
  • ISBN: 9781551118604 / 1551118602
  • 552 pages; 7" x 9"

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The Broadview Anthology of Victorian Prose, 1832-1901

  • Publication Date: August 20, 2012
  • ISBN: 9781551118604 / 1551118602
  • 552 pages; 7" x 9"

The Victorian era witnessed dramatic transformations in print culture, and this new anthology covers the exciting intellectual and social debates of the period. From first-person accounts of the lives of factory workers to Oscar Wilde’s aesthetic theory, and from narratives of British travelers in Africa and Asia to Havelock Ellis’s theories of “sexual inversion,” the surprising diversity of nineteenth-century nonfiction writing is represented. Illustrations from Victorian periodicals provide a vivid sense of the original reading experience.

The book’s thematic organization emphasizes the social and historical contexts of prose writings, as well as the way in which these writings address each other. In addition to a general critical introduction, the anthology features new thematic introductions by experts in the field.


“A cause for celebration! With its judiciously chosen examples of life writing, travel memoirs, and social commentary, its glorious illustrations, and captivating selection of materials related to aesthetics, evolution, eugenics, and sexuality, this anthology will be a blessing to teachers, students, and scholars interested in the explosive growth of print media in the Victorian period.” — Christopher Keep, University of Western Ontario

A Note on the Text
Introduction: Victorian Print Media and the Reading Public, Mary Elizabeth Leighton and Lisa Surridge


  • Introduction, David Amigoni
    William Dodd, from A Narrative of the Experience and Sufferings of William Dodd, A Factory Cripple (1841)
    Alexander Somerville, from The Autobiography of a Working Man (1848)
    John Stuart Mill, from Autobiography (1873)
    Harriet Martineau, from Autobiography (1877)
    Anthony Trollope, from An Autobiography (1883)
    John Ruskin, from Praeterita (1885–89)
    Annie Besant, from Annie Besant: An Autobiography (1893)
    Oscar Wilde, from De Profundis (written 1897; published 1905)
    Edmund Gosse, from Father and Son: A Study of Two Temperaments (1907)
    Beatrice Webb, from My Apprenticeship (1926)


  • Introduction, Dan Bivona
    Harriet Martineau, from Illustrations of Political Economy (1832–34)
    Thomas Carlyle, from Past and Present (1843)

    • from “Gospel of Mammonism”
      from “Captains of Industry”

    Friedrich Engels, from The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 (1845; trans. 1887)
    Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, from Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848; trans. 1888)
    Charles Dickens, from “A Walk in a Workhouse” (1850)
    Henry Mayhew, from London Labour and the London Poor (1851)
    John Stuart Mill, from On Liberty (1859)
    John Ruskin, from Unto This Last (1860)
    Octavia Hill, from “Blank Court; or, Landlords and Tenants” (1871)
    William Booth, from In Darkest England and the Way Out (1890)


  • Introduction, Janice Schroeder
    Thomas Arnold, from “On the Discipline of Public Schools” (1835)
    Harriet Martineau, from Retrospect of Western Travel (1838)
    Mary Carpenter, from Reformatory Schools, for the Children of the Perishing and Dangerous Classes, and for Juvenile Offenders (1851)
    John Henry Newman, from Discourses on the Scope and Nature of University Education Addressed to the Catholics of Dublin (1852)
    Henry Morley and Geraldine Jewsbury, from “Instructive Comparisons” (1855)
    Frederick Denison Maurice, from Learning and Working: Six Lectures Delivered in Willis’s Rooms, London, in June and July, 1854 (1855)
    Matthew Arnold, from “Art. VIII.—The Functions of Criticism at the Present Time” (1864)
    Emily Davies, from The Higher Education of Women (1866)
    Henry Maudsley, from “Sex in Mind and in Education” (1874)
    Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, from “Sex in Mind and Education: A Reply” (1874)
    John Churton Collins, from “An Educational Crisis, and How to Avert It.—II” (1886)
    William Morris, from “English at the Universities” (1886)
    John Addington Symonds, from “English at the Universities.—III.” (1886)
    Walter Pater, from “English at the Universities.—IV.” (1886)
    Matthew Arnold, from “English at the Universities.—IX.” (1887)
    James Anthony Froude, from “English at the Universities.—IX.” (1887)


  • Introduction, Dennis Denisoff
    John Ruskin, from The Stones of Venice (1851–53)
    Anna Jameson, from Legends of the Madonna, as Represented in the Fine Arts (1852)
    George Eliot, from Adam Bede (1859)
    Matthew Arnold, from “Culture and Its Enemies” (1867)
    Walter Pater, from Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873)
    William Morris, from Hopes and Fears for Art (1882)
    James McNeill Whistler, from Mr. Whistler’s “Ten O’Clock” (1885)
    Oscar Wilde, from “The Critic as Artist” (1891)
    Vernon Lee and Clementina Anstruther-Thomson, from “Beauty and Ugliness” (1897)


  • Introduction, Susan Hamilton
    Sarah Stickney Ellis, from The Women of England: Their Social Duties and Domestic Habits (1839)
    Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon, from A Brief Summary, in Plain Language, of the Most Important Laws Concerning Women; Together with a Few Observations Thereon (1854)
    Florence Nightingale, from Suggestions for Thought to the Searchers after Truth among the Artizans of England (1860)
    John Ruskin, from Sesame and Lilies (1865)
    John Stuart Mill, from The Subjection of Women (1869)
    Thomas Hughes, from The Manliness of Christ (1879)
    William Thomas Stead, from “The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon” (1885)
    Mona Caird, from “Marriage” (1888)
    John Addington Symonds, from A Problem in Modern Ethics (1891)
    Havelock Ellis, from Studies in the Psychology of Sex: Sexual Inversion (1897)


  • Introduction, Catherine Harland
    Thomas Carlyle, from Sartor Resartus: The Life and Opinions of Herr Teufelsdröckh (1833–34)

    • from “The Everlasting No”
      from “Centre of Indifference”
      from “The Everlasting Yea”

    Benjamin Jowett, from “On the Interpretation of Scripture” (1860)
    John William Colenso, from The Pentateuch and Book of Joshua Critically Examined (1862)
    John Henry Newman, from Apologia pro Vita Sua (1864)
    Leslie Stephen, from “An Agnostic’s Apology” (1876)
    Vernon Lee, from “The Responsibilities of Unbelief: A Conversation between Three Rationalists” (1883)
    Frances Power Cobbe, from “Agnostic Morality” (1883)


  • Introduction, Bernard Lightman
    Charles Lyell, from Principles of Geology, being an Attempt to Explain the Former Changes of the Earth’s Surface, by Reference to Causes Now in Operation (1830)
    Charles Bell, from The Hand: Its Mechanism and Vital Endowments as Evincing Design (1833)
    Mary Somerville, from On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences (1834)
    Robert Chambers, from Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844)
    Herbert Spencer, from Social Statics: or, The Conditions Essential to Human Happiness Specified, and the First of Them Developed (1850)
    Philip Henry Gosse, from Evenings at the Microscope (1859)
    Mary Ward, from Telescope Teachings: A Familiar Sketch of Astronomical Discovery; Combining a Special Notice of Objects Coming within the Range of a Small Telescope, Illustrated by the Author’s Original Drawings; with a Detail of the Most Interesting Discoveries Which Have Been Made with the Assistance of Powerful Telescopes, Concerning the Phenomena of the Heavenly Bodies, Including the Recent Comet (1859)
    Charles Darwin, from On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859)
    Lydia Becker, from “On the Study of Science by Women” (1869)
    Francis Galton, from Hereditary Genius: An Inquiry into Its Laws and Consequences (1869)
    Charles Darwin, from The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871)
    Richard Proctor, from “A Voyage to the Ringed Planet” (1872)
    Thomas Henry Huxley, from “The Struggle for Human Existence: A Programme” (1888)


  • Introduction, Laura Franey
    James Holman, from A Voyage Round the World Including Travels in Africa, Asia, Australasia, America, etc. etc. from 1827 to 1832 (1834)
    Charles Darwin, from Journal of Researches into the Geology and Natural History of the Various Countries Visited by H.M.S. Beagle, under the Command of Captain FitzRoy, R.N. from 1832 to 1836 (1839)
    Richard F. Burton, from Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah (1855)
    David Livingstone, from Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa (1857)
    Henry Walter Bates, from The Naturalist on the River Amazons, a Record of Adventures, Habits of Animals, Sketches of Brazilian and Indian Life, and Aspects of Nature under the Equator, during Eleven Years of Travel (1863)
    Emily Eden, from “Up the Country”: Letters Written to Her Sister from the Upper Provinces of India (1866)
    Alfred Russel Wallace, from The Malay Archipelago: The Land of the Orang-utan, and theBird of Paradise. A Narrative of Travel, with Studies of Man and Nature (1869)
    Henry M. Stanley, from How I Found Livingstone; Travels, Adventures, and Discoveries in Central Africa; Including Four Months’ Residence with Dr. Livingstone (1872)
    Anthony Trollope, from Australia and New Zealand (1873)
    Florence Dixie, from Across Patagonia (1880)
    Isabella L. Bird, from Unbeaten Tracks in Japan: An Account of Travels in the Interior, Including Visits to the Aborigines of Yezo and the Shrines of Nikkô and Isé (1880)
    Kate Marsden, from On Sledge and Horseback to Outcast Siberian Lepers (1891)
    Mary H. Kingsley, from Travels in West Africa Congo Français, Corisco and Cameroon (1897)

Mary Elizabeth Leighton and Lisa Surridge are Associate Professor and Professor of English, respectively, at the University of Victoria.