LEWIS CARROLL (1832- 1889)
- Britain reaches heights of wealth and power during Queen Victoria’s reign;
- Colonial expansion continues in Asia and Africa; India is the most valuable of all British colonies.
ECONOMY AND SOCIETY:
- Education becomes a universal right;
- Improvement of health services;
- The number of people who can vote doubles;
- The cheap postal system is introduced.
Industrialisation continues and more factories are built;
England becomes the world’s workshop, and London becomes the world’s banker;
Population growth leads to overcrowded towns. Rural communities disappear due to increased urbanisation and traditional values disintegrate. Many children work in mines and factories, are treated harshly, and live in dreadful conditions.
There is a growing need for educational facilities for children, so that exploitation is avoided.
IDEOLOGY AND CULTURE:
The Victorian Age is defined by strong religious and moral principles, known as Victorian values:
- Hard work;
Literary trend: VICTORIAN CHILDREN LITERATURE
Types of Victorian children’s books:
- Books that educate and guide children into becoming productive and virtuous citizens
- Children are treated as inferior to adults
- Try to guide children into growing up.
- Books that celebrate children’s imagination, innocence, willingness to trust, and enjoyment of simple pleasures
- Civilization is seen as corrupt
- Children are seen as superior to adults
- Ironic towards the moralising children’s books
- Praise of innocence, originality, wit, and imagination
- Represent the basis from which fantasy literature stems later.
THE AUTHOR AND HIS WORK
- Real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson;
- Victorian mathematician and logician, professor at Christ Church College at Oxford University;
- Wrote stories to entertain Alice Liddell, his Oxford University colleague’s daughter;
- Best-known books:
- “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
- “Through the Looking- Glass, and What Alice Found There”