From circuses and ‘freak shows’ to broadsides and novels, from pleasure gardens and music halls to chapbooks and penny dreadfuls, Georgian and Victorian Britain offered the public a rich range of affordable entertainments.
- Article by:
- Paul Schlicke
Industrialisation had a dramatic effect upon all aspects of Victorian life. Paul Schlicke examines how it led to the growth of commercial entertainment and the presence of these new cultural forms in the novels of Charles Dickens.Read more
- Article by:
- Ruth Richardson
Chapbooks were small, affordable forms of literature for children and adults that were sold on the streets, and covered a range of subjects from fairy tales and ghost stories to news of politics, crime or disaster. Dr Ruth Richardson explains what this literature looked like, its subject matter and the ways in which it was produced.Read more
What are the key motifs of Gothic literature and how do these works reflect the contexts in which the genre emerged and evolved?
From the origins of the Gothic to depictions of the emerging middle classes, what are the key characteristics of late 18th- and early 19th-century literature?
How did the writers of this period incorporate fantasy, realism, sensationalism, and social commentary into their work?
How did the literature of this period reflect attitudes to gender, sexuality, immigration, class and scientific discovery?
How did the Victorian poets approach composition, form and language, and what inspired their subjects?
From music hall to pleasure gardens, explore the extraordinary range of entertainments on offer in Georgian and Victorian Britain.
How did writers respond to the social inequalities of Victorian society?
How did rising literacy rates, libraries and new technologies influence literature and reading habits during this period?
How did 19th-century authors respond to the new possibilities afforded by technology and science?
How were the tensions surrounding social mobility explored in the literature of the period?
How did 19th-century depictions of the future reflect contemporary fears of social, political and technological change?