AD's English Literature : Victorian English Novel: Main Trends that made Novel a Phenomenal Progress

Victorian English Novel: Main Trends that made Novel a Phenomenal Progress

Of all the literary forms, the novel is one in which the approximation of literature to society life is the closest. This is particularly true of the Victorian novel. Indeed the social history of the era in its manifold aspects is reflected in the novels of the time. Many of the Victorian novelists broke new ground and explored fresh field which we should strive to illustrate here.

The Victorian age is essentially the age of novel. During this period novel made a phenomenal progress. This was partly because this essential middle-class form of literary art was bound to flourish increasingly as the middle class rose in power and importance, partly because of the steady increases of the reading public with the growth of lending libraries and partly because the novel was the best vehicle best equipped to present picture of life lived in a given society against a stable background of social and moral value by people.

Victoria memorial kolkata: wikipedia
Victorian novelists have certain redeeming virtues. They are good story-tellers. They may not have the high-bred art of the French or the passionate humanity of the Russians, but they could make their narrative come to life. And this is because the creative spirit was in them in abundant measure. Their characters are human beings in whom we feel immediately interested. The life-giving interaction between character and situation is perfectly realized. As in all great art- sculpture or painting the character blends with the setting. A Dickens character always calls up a Dickens setting, and so with Thackeray or the Brontes or Hardy

 The Victorian novelists also command a wide range; nothing is too low or too high for them, and their imagination moves over all freely as though to the manner born. A sense of amplitude provides a refreshing atmosphere where one breathes freely and easily. In other word they have the first attributes of a great artist, - creative imagination. They may lack the sense of architectonics; they may be sentimental and melodramatic; they may true obvious reality into impossible romance; but they breathe into character and situation the divine spark of life that transforms the crudest materials into living symbols. This is the virtual that redeems all their failings.     

  Ardhendu De


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