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Main page » Audiobooks » Victorian Britain

Victorian Britain


(36 lectures, 30 minutes/lecture)

Taught by Patrick N. Allitt
Emory University
Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley

Darwin. Gladstone. Disraeli. Dickens. Meet the pioneering, paradoxical Britons of the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901):

Through peaceful and gradual change they built one of the world's first industrial democracies—in a class-bound society with a powerful landed aristocracy and a negative view of business.
They gloried in a globe-spanning and relatively humanely run empire—even as it distracted them from underlying economic weaknesses that presaged Britain's 20th-century decline.
They were intensely sentimental—yet ignored extreme squalor and hardship in their midst.
They became history's first campaigners against slavery and pursued a host of reformist, often religiously inspired causes with zeal and vision—yet tolerated child labor and the Opium War.
They were quick to exploit new technologies, including the steam engine, cast-iron construction, and gas lighting—yet lost their economic leadership to Germany and America.
The Victorians created the cityscape of modern Britain—visible today except for what was destroyed by bombing in World War II—while consciously trying to re-create earlier styles.
They faced rapid and sweeping scientific, historical, and technological shifts—yet avoided massive upheavals that tore at other European and Atlantic societies in their day.
And in their trademark style, the Victorians even reformed cricket, turning it from a riotous diversion for hard drinkers and gamblers into a byword for flannel-clad decency and goodhearted fair play that crossed class lines and brought together the best features of democracy and aristocracy

Course Lecture Titles
  The Victorian Paradox
Victoria's Early Reign—1837-1861
The Industrial Revolution—1750-1830
Railways and Steamships
Parliamentary Reform and Chartism
The Upper- and Middle-Class Woman
The Working-Class Woman
The State Church and Evangelical Revival
The Oxford Movement and Catholicism
Work and Working-Class Life
Poverty and the "Hungry Forties"
Ireland, Famine, and Robert Peel
Scotland and Wales
Progress and Optimism
China and the Opium War
The Crimean War—1854-1856
The Indian Mutiny—1857
Victorian Britain and the American Civil War
The British in Africa—1840-1880
Victorian Literature I
Art and Music
Medicine and Public Health
Trade Unions and the Labour Party
Crime and Punishment
Gladstone and Disraeli—1865-1881
Ireland and Home Rule
Democracy and Its Discontents
The British in Africa—1880-1901
Later Victorian Literature
Domestic Servants
Victoria After Albert—1861-1901
The Victorian Legacy


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Tags: Allitt, Patrick, globespanning, relatively, empiremdasheven, business, gloried, negative, Britain, globe-spanning, humanely