Minor Victorian era prose-writers.

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      The general tendency of the Victorian era is towards complacent utilitarianism. The writers of the period were generally optimistic and complacent about the prosperity of the age. The progress of their own age led them to hope for further advances in the future. The majority of these writers were philosophers, historians and scholars. Charles Darwin (1809-1882), who propounded the theory of evolution, Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), Thomas Huxley, etc.; the historians like E. A. Freeman, James Anthony Froude. W. E. H. Lecky and J. R. Green, etc. 

Other prose writings belonging to the later Victorian period who made a mark in the fields of philosophy, theology, and social analysis are E.H. Bradley, Sir Leslie Stephen, Edward Carpenter, Karl Pearson, Walter Bagehot, etc.
Miscellaneous Victorian Writer


     Alone among the historians, Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859) displayed in a high degree the special qualities of the man of letters. He was a poet and essayist as well as an historian. His Lays of Aucient Rome, The Armada and The Battle of Ivry were remarkable for animation and vigour of narrative. In his Essays, as in his vast but unfinished History of England from the Accession of James II, he not only shows his learning and memory but also rhetorical virtues of composition, order and logic, and of sequence which make him perhaps the most easily and immediately understood of English authors. His prose style is distinguished by antithetical and balanced sentences. In respect of style he presents the most perfect contrast with his contemporary Carlyle.

      Among the later Victorian prose writers, mention may be made of W.H. Pater and John Addington Symonds. W.H. Pater's Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873), The Child in the House (1871), Marius the Epicurean (1885) and Appreciations with an Essay on Style (1889) are important prose works. His essays on style explains and defends his own writing techniques. Pater agrees with Buffon's dictum: "The style is the man himself." The craftsmanship lies in the perfect combination of form and content to give unified expression to the writer's concept. Polish, precision and nuance are sought as zealously in prose as in verse.

      John Addington Symonds wrote History of the Renaissance in Italy (1875-1886). His book generated enthusiasm of the English-speaking world for the Italian Renaissance. Symonds minimises all other aspects of the age to portray it as the supreme flowering of art.

      Other prose writings belonging to the later Victorian period who made a mark in the fields of philosophy, theology, and social analysis are E.H. Bradley, Sir Leslie Stephen, Edward Carpenter, Karl Pearson, Walter Bagehot, etc. Leslie Stephen's History of English Thought in the Eighteenth Century and An Agnostic's Apology (1830); Edward Carpenter's Civilisation - Its Cause and Cure and Walter Bagehot's Library Studies are interesting works of the period.

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