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Victorian

Period of British history associated with the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). The period was, on the whole, marked by increasing prosperity, industrial and scientific development and the... read more

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EDITOR'S CHOICE

'Monumentally bad diplomacy, worse strategy, chaotic military organisation and inept generalship' - Thomas Tulenko describes how great powers have failed in their attacks on Afghanistan. Penned as...

Though they are often seen as polar opposites,the architect of modern Germany and the great British Liberal statesman shared more in common than one might think. Roland Quinault draws comparisons.

Volume: 63 Issue: 11 2013

The capital went underground on January 9th, 1863.

Volume: 63 Issue: 1 2013

Seth Alexander Thévoz looks at how Victorian clubs in London’s West End played a role in oiling the nation’s political wheels.

Volume: 63 Issue: 2 2013

British democracy owes a debt to the country’s first civil rights movement, says Malcolm Chase.

Volume: 63 Issue: 11 2013

Atheism today is widely perceived to be the opposite of spirituality. This assumption is turned on its head when we look at the neglected origins of the Victorian ‘non-believing’ movement, epitomised by the controversial freethinker, William Stewart Ross, says Alastair Bonnett. 

Volume: 63 Issue: 2 2013

Carol Dyhouse questions some of the assertions made by John Gardiner in his 1999 article about the Victorians.

Volume: 63 Issue: 4 2013

Established partly in response to the long-feared French invasion and partly to quell unrest at home, the yeomanry were increasingly used by the authorities to intervene on the side of employers in disputes and riots. The ensuing armed clashes present the clearest example of class warfare in early 19th-century Britain, says Nick Mansfield.  

Volume: 63 Issue: 8 2013

The pioneer of English travel writing was born on June 7th, 1662.

Volume: 62 Issue: 6 2012

The Antipodean reformer died on May 16th, 1862.

Volume: 62 Issue: 5 2012

Gillian Tindall reflects on a recent discovery by a Dickens scholar, which offers new insights into the great writer’s early years.

Volume: 62 Issue: 12 2012

England has been conflated with Britain for so long that unravelling English history from that of its Celtic neighbours is a difficult task. Paul Lay considers recent histories of England and its people.

Volume: 62 Issue: 8 2012

In recent years the reputation of Mary Seacole as a pioneering nurse of the Crimean War has been elevated far beyond the bounds of her own ambition. Meanwhile that of Florence Nightingale has taken an undeserved knocking, as Lynn McDonald explains.

Volume: 62 Issue: 9 2012

Julia Lovell reappraises Leslie Marchant’s article on the Opium Wars, first published in History Today in 2002.

Volume: 62 Issue: 6 2012

The leading Victorian radical and Liberal politician John Bright was born on November 16th 1811.

Volume: 61 Issue: 11 2011

Jacqueline Riding examines how a 19th-century painting, created almost 150 years after the Jacobite defeat at Culloden, has come to dominate the iconography of that event.

Volume: 61 Issue: 4 2011

Glittering monument to Britain’s colonial achievement or fragile symbol of a fragmenting imperial dream? Jan Piggott charts the efforts to make Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace flourish as an ‘Acropolis of Empire’.

Volume: 61 Issue: 4 2011

As the final preparations are made for the Royal Wedding on Friday April 29th, we explore the history of regal marriages, from Tudor times to the twentieth century, through a selection of articles from our archive, historic photographs and videos.

2011

The Victorian era was an age of faith – which is why it was also a golden period of progress, argues Tim Stanley.

Volume: 61 Issue: 5 2011

A mid-Victorian competition to design new Government Offices in Whitehall fell victim to a battle between the competing styles of Gothic and Classical. The result proved unworthy of a nation then at its imperial zenith, as Bernard Porter explains.

Volume: 61 Issue: 7 2011

On the centenary of the death of W.S.Gilbert Ian Bradley examines the achievements of the surprisingly radical Victorian dramatist and librettist who, in collaboration with the composer Arthur Sullivan, created classic satires of English national identity.

Volume: 61 Issue: 5 2011

During his brief life, the Polish master of the musical miniature became a living symbol of his troubled nation. Adam Zamoyski looks at the reception given to Chopin by a divided public when he visited Britain in 1848, a year of revolution through Europe.

Volume: 60 Issue: 5 2010

Rosie Llewellyn-Jones recalls the Victorian economist who helped resolve the financial crisis in India after the Mutiny of 1857.

Volume: 60 Issue: 8 2010

The Great Exhibition of 1851 was not only a celebration of Victorian Britain’s scientific and economic pre-eminence but also a hymn to the religion that underpinned it, argues Geoffrey Cantor.

Volume: 60 Issue: 7 2010

Wilkie Collins’ haunting mystery of false identity and female instability reflected one of the lunacy panics of the age. Sarah Wise looks at three events that inspired The Woman in White.

Volume: 60 Issue: 8 2010

Richard Willis charts how order was brought to the medical profession by the foundation of the General Medical Council 150 years ago.

Volume: 59 Issue: 1 2009
In the second of our occasional series exploring the ways in which topical historical subjects are being tackled in a variety of media, Rohan McWilliam examines a time in Britain’s history that seems to repay frequent revisiting more than a century after it ended.
2009

‘Garotting’, or the strangulation of a victim in the course of a robbery, haunted the British public in the 1850s. Emelyne Godfrey describes the measures taken to prevent it and the range of gruesome self-defence devices that were often of greater danger to the wearer than to the assailant.

Volume: 59 Issue: 7 2009

Roland Quinault looks at how the Victorians saw the old English system of trial by jury as a defining feature of British good government and fair play and as an example to other nations. Admiration for the system at home and abroad, though, contrasted with the practical realities faced by 19th-century juries.

Volume: 59 Issue: 5 2009

Between autumn 1855 and spring 1856, the attitude of Britain’s war leaders underwent bewildering change as their determination to bring the war with Russia to a desirable conclusion was buffeted by doubts about the commitment of the French, and fears about the motives of French policy, as Brian James reveals.

Volume: 58 Issue: 3 2008

Criminal poisoning at once fascinated and terrified Victorian society. Here Ian Burney shows how the extraordinary case of a doctor, hanged in 1856 for allegedly poisoning an acquaintance, threw up deep-rooted anxieties about poison, detection, and professionalism in Victorian society.

Volume: 58 Issue: 3 2008

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