By Peter Mandler, Susan Pedersen, Afterword by Simon Schama Center for European Studies Harvard University
After the Victorians, by using biography, explores how twentieth century British intellectuals how 20th century British intellectuals and social reformers sought to evolve Victorian values to trendy stipulations, by utilizing participants: Peter Mandler, Susan Pedersen, Seth Koven, Jeffrey Cox, Standish Meacham, Peter Stansky, F. M. Leventhal, Peter Clarke, D. L. LeMahieu, Chris Waters, Simon Schama.
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Except, of course, in the sphere of culture: here they retained a hold. But in what form, exactly? 76 In retrospect, however, the division between the species seems less sharp; or perhaps over time, some of the Herbivores had developed a taste for meat. 77 During the first half of this century Britain’s liberal elite learned (if slowly) that they could not remake “the democracy” in their own image, and that the process they sought to direct could dispossess them. Some, as a result, learned tolerance, coming to see their values as specific and not universal, or even looking to hitherto despised cultures or classes for the mutuality and empathy they found lacking in their educated brethren and the ostensibly advanced West.
Their disturbing individual sexual identities almost (but never quite do) disappear into the larger, harmonious and productive social institution of marriage. Gooch also rehabilitated Samuel’s sexuality by distinguishing between acceptable (“gentleness” and “tenderness”) and undesirable (“flabby” and “sentimental”) “feminine” qualities. When we return to the Life, we find that Henrietta also deliberately destabilized accepted gender categories—albeit less obviously and for a somewhat different purpose.
178–80; and for a good exposition of the gender ideals of Victorian women social reformers (and especially Bosanquet), see Jane Lewis, Women and Social Action in Victorian and Edwardian England, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1991. , The Gladstonian Turn of Mind, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1985, pp. 97–122. 37 Noel Annan, Leslie Stephen: The Godless Victorian, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1984, p. 116. 38 Virginia Woolf, quoted in Rosenbaum, Victorian Bloomsbury, p. 82.
After the Victorians: Private Conscience and Public Duty in Modern Britain by Peter Mandler, Susan Pedersen, Afterword by Simon Schama Center for European Studies Harvard University
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