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The Victorian Frame of Mind, 1830-1870

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  63 ratings  ·  7 reviews
“It is now forty years,” Walter Houghton writes, “since Lytton Strachey decided that we knew too much about the Victorian era to view its culture as a whole.” Recently the tide has turned and the Victorians have been the subject of sympathetic “period pieces,” critical and biographical works, and extensive studies of their age, but the Victorian mind itself remains blurred ...more
Paperback, 486 pages
Published September 10th 1963 by Yale University Press (first published 1957)
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Eloy Eduardo
The copy I have read comes from the seventh printing of this book (July 1968), which was published first in 1957, and is still in print, for the Yale University Press issued it again in 2014, as Goodreads shows. It is not common for an academic book to have such an extended life. Houghton talks in his book’s chapters about Victorians’ optimism, anxieties, intellectual attitudes and anti-intellectualism, about their dogmatism and rigidity. Also about their commercial spirit, their reverence of fo ...more
Christopher Newton
Feb 27, 2014 Christopher Newton rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in how the Victorians thought.
Recommended to Christopher by: One of my professors in grad school
One of my grad school teachers gave this to me years ago and I have returned to it again and again over the years. I haven't begun to plumb its depths. Its a great guidebook to the Victorian mind. I'm not a professor, by the way, just always been interested in the Victorians.
I loved this gook. Houghton has an excellent understanding of the times, and put this book together with care and restraint. By restraint I mean he refrains from imposing himself on the material - he uses ample quotes from many representative Victorians to build each of his arguments. I never feel that he's shaping his material so much as letting the shape fall mostly from the criticisms the Victorians made of themselves.

The book is labeled by different habits of mind, such as earnestness, doub
Amanda May
Compared to Richard Altick's Victorian People and Ideas, this particular text reads more like a history text. The style used is recognizably Chicago of Manual, and the daunting number of block quotes give it an historic feel. Nevertheless, I did find my perusal relatively enjoyable.

In addition, although this seemed to me to be a much more in-depth exploration of the Victorian era than Altick's text, I feel like it was also for a more educated audience. I recommend this to fellow scholars who are
An interesting look at the ideology of mainstreem Victorians- very original criticism of a crucial era in history.
Seth Holler
Apr 15, 2014 Seth Holler marked it as to-read
Shelves: abandoned
Begun twice. Couldn't finish either time.
Literary criticism.
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