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The Spirit of the Age: Victorian Essays

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  7 ratings  ·  2 reviews
None of the stereotypes of Victorian England-narrow-minded, inhibited, moralistic, complacent-prepares us for the vitality, variety, and above all extraordinary quality of intellectual life displayed in this volume of essays. Selected and introduced by Gertrude Himmelfarb, a distinguished historian of Victorian thought, the writings address a wide range of subjects-religio ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published November 27th 2007 by Yale University Press (first published November 5th 2007)
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Paul Bond
Ironically, I'd rate many of the essays in this collection as four- or five-star works. I especially enjoyed:

* Macaulay's "Civil Disabilities of the Jews" (1831)(making an unanswerable case against the limitation on Jews in English public service);

* Bagehot's contrarian praise of "Dull Government" as the English ideal (1856); and

* Wilde's "The Soul of Man under Socialism" (1891)(anticipating, in important ways, the threat that socialism would become its own of tyranny).

These essays, and some
Great essays from the age, all academic through, certainly not a book for fun :-)
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