【09月16日】Miles Taylor: Queen Victorian and the Victorians
 
发布时间: 2013-09-17 浏览次数: 64

主题:Queen Victorian and the Victorians

时间:916日(星期一)18:00-19:30

地点:betway官网登录5361会议室

主讲人:Miles Taylor(英国伦敦大学)

单位:上海外国语大学英国研究中心

讲座内容:

Queen Victoria is synonymous with the Victorian age, and indeed with ‘Victorian values’. She seems to personify in her life the attitudes and stereotypes of Britain in the 19th century. Nowhere is this clearer than in Lytton Strachey’s biography of Victoria, published in 1919, a companion volume to his more famous attack on the Victorian age, Eminent Victorians (1918). In this biography Queen Victoria emerges as moralistic, remote from her people for most of her reign, and out of touch with the modern world. There is of course a lot of evidence to support this view of Victoria. She spent half her life in mourning for her consort Prince Albert who died in 1861, isolating her family and her court from public view in Osborne, Balmoral, and Windsor, and avoiding her London residence (where Albert had died). As the world’s most famous widow, she opposed campaigns to give better rights to women. And although Prince Albert was a renaissance prince, the champion of the arts and the new sciences and technology, Victoria, it is said preferred animals and going to the theatre. However, the emphasis on Queen Victoria as the source of ‘Victorian values’ perhaps tell us more about Britain in the 20th century than it does the Victorian age. Strachey’s biography of 1919 and his book, Eminent Victorians, started the attack on the 19th century, which lasted well into the 1960s. As Britain gave up its empire after World War Two, and became more of a social democracy (equal suffrage for men and women, free health care and unemployment benefit), Queen Victoria came to represent an age which was unfair, intolerant and simply old. In the 1960s, with reform in Britain of the divorce laws, more relaxed attitudes towards sexuality, and the move to a secular society, the attack on the Victorians was complete. When modern Britain held up a mirror to itself, it saw not the great Victorian age, but a new world made since 1945. But is this association of Queen Victoria with ‘Victorian values’ fair or even accurate ? This lecture explores Queen Victoria’s own views and activities in three main areas – first, religion;secondly, the woman question; and third and finally, science and technology. The lecture shows that far from being old-fashioned and conservative, she was more progressive on many political and social issues in Britain and overseas in the empire, and a leader of innovation and invention. In showing Queen Victoria in a new way, the lecture also suggests that ‘Victorian values’ is no longer a useful way of understanding the Victorians.

主讲人先容:

Professor Miles Taylor, Director of the Institute of Historical Research, University of London and Professor of History, University of London.

Publications:

(co-ed. with Michael Wolff) The Victorians since 1901: Histories, Representations and Revisions (Manchester: ManchesterUniversity Press, 2004)

Ernest Jones, Chartism and the Romance of Politics, 1819-69 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003)

(ed.) Walter Bagehot, The English Constitution (Oxford: The World’s Classics, Oxford University Press, 2001)

(co-ed. with Jon Lawrence) Party, State and Society: Electoral Behaviour in Britain since 1820 (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1997)

The Decline of British Radicalism, 1847-1860 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995)

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