Eminent Victorians

A. N. Wilson, Author
A. N. Wilson, Author W. W. Norton & Company $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-393-02848-5
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
Seventy-two years after the publication of Lytton Strachey's book of the same title, an Oxford biographer (of Belloc, Milton, Scott and Tolstoy) ``with the sole aim of finding out what they were like'' reexamines six individuals who turned ``Victorian values'' upside down. Included are: Prince Albert, a foreigner who remade the monarchy; Charlotte Bronte, whose private fantasy became a highly popular novel ( Jane Eyre ); Gladstone, the grand old Liberal leader who was virtually synonymous with the Victorian church and state; John Henry Newman, whose conversion from the Church of England propelled Roman Catholicism into a position of vigor and power; Josephine Butler, feminist and reformer who changed the conscience of society; Julia Margaret Cameron, whose photographs are memorable images of the age. Wilson's prose is sometimes careless but serviceably fills what would otherwise be white space between the excellent illustrations in this vestige of coffee-table-book publishing. (July)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!