This series of 36 fascinating lectures is a chronological journey into the story of Victorian Britain, from the unexpected ascension to the throne of teenaged Princess Victoria in 1837 to her death in 1901 as the Boer War neared its end.
Presented with all of Victoria's strengths and foibles left intact by an award-winning teacher and author, the lectures invite you to reflect on both the positive and negative aspects of her reign. You'll discover the lives of Victorian women; the situation facing working people and the rise of trade unionism; Victorian achievements in art, literature, architecture, and music; and what Leonard Woolf called "the seriousness of games," and of leisure-time activities as windows on Victorian life.
You'll discuss the important role played by Christianity as a force for both principled adherence to tradition and principled pursuit of change; and the influence of science and the debates over its impact that animated the Victorians.
And you'll learn what the Victorians believed about education; the questions raised by Britain's rule over its empire, the problems of poverty and crime; the discoveries of Victorian explorers in Africa; and much more in this remarkable rendering of a remarkable age.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2002 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2002 The Great Courses
Avid reader until vision impairment set in. Now an avid listener!
I'd recommend this course to anyone who wants a broad overview of Victorian England. Prof. Allitt covers a LOT of topics, but none in very much depth. It's a great jumping off point to do further reading (listening). It's particularly useful that he quotes liberally from contemporary writers to give a sense of the culture. I wish a bibliography were included, though.
My favorite lectures were on Gladstone and Disraeli. Prof. Allitt draws nuanced distinctions between them and we can see both sides of contemporary politics. While he describes the eccentricities as well as the accomplishments of both men, the portrayals don't veer toward caricature. Actually none of the people whom Allitt describes do--he seems to like the men and women he talks about and is sympathetic rather than condescending to their foibles.
I loved his teaching style. He's clear, not too redundant, and has a wonderful sense of humor about the material. His accent is engaging. All around, a terrific teacher.
No, but the topics fascinated me.
On a personal note, I appreciated Prof. Allitt's attention to Victorian religion. This is a topic that is often absent from historical overviews. He's thorough and even handed.
Just a brilliant and informative set of lectures.
I've listened to it twice, just because it was so interesting.
Covers a lot of different things in Victorian society, each having a lecture of it's own.
I'd love to have a sequel covering Britain until today by the same lecturer.
I don't know if it was an attraction to the subject matter but I enjoyed these lectures so much that I listened to each lecture twice. I found Professor Allitt to be charming and adding just the right context to each fact.
Examines well the course and consequence of the Victorian' s social, technological and political climate.
The lecturer does a great job of listing both positive and negative aspects of the culture and its actions within the context of its operation. He neither sweeps the less savory things under the rug nor apologizes for them but presents both sides of the era as they were. He also shows how those views lead into and shape modern policy of the country and those under the former empire. It's a great starting reference that can easily lead into further reading and its well-thought-out format facilitates that wonderfully.
It is, in the end, slightly biased towards England. but not distracting so and certain not smoothing over a lot of the unpleasant ideas of the age.
Must buy for history enthusiast of the Victoria period. The topic is made interesting through storytelling and copious number of external references.
So much information that I need to listen again! The professor also does a great queen Victoria voice;) highly recommend
It is just utterly fantastic- a very comprehensive overview, lectured in a way that will hold your attention.
The scholar does a brilliant job. It is very different to have a matter taught by the original, rather than just having it read to you by a "narrator".
(Is that the place for the actual review?) Great Courses, why do you do such dishonour to the professors by riddling the audio with annoying music samples and completely superfluous information and advertisements, read in an arty- nasal voice? Someone who is listening to audio courses usually has limited time to his hands and can very well skip this.
"So far the best lecturer, decent content"
Absolutely. Anyone interested in the period will find a broad and sometimes deep tour over the victorian times.
It is much much detailed and broader in perspective than Life In Victorian Britain by Patterson but much less contrarian and iconoclastic than A.N Wilson's "The Victorians". However, a more conventional take on this period is a good start.
The frank description of poverty and classicism.
The lecturer is (so far) the most enjoyable of the entire Great Courses library. Nice delivery, clear voice, pleasent accent.
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