Join with me and plunge into the literary world of the Long Nineteenth Century, c.1789 – 1914. We’ll be like Marian and Walter, Mary and Percy, Jane and Edward, Cathy and Heathcliff, Anne and Gilbert, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam, Gladys and Edward, Elinor and Edward, Estella and Pip, Rosamond and Tertius, Lucy and Jonathan … I think you get the idea!
Frequently asked questions: (FAQs? Sadly, I’ve never been asked any of these questions!)
What is The Long Nineteenth Century? The Marxist historian Eric Hosbawn popularised the notion of a Long Nineteenth Century, 1789 to 1914 – taking us from the French Revolution to the Great War. It is now a recognised category of literary history, though some prefer different dates.
Why did you choose The Long Nineteenth Century? Two periods of political and military tumult that sandwich a period of radical change in multiple areas – inc. economics, transport, print technology, culture, aesthetics, politics, sexual freedom. I have selected this exciting period because of the wealth of wonderful literature it produced.
My background isn’t in English literature, but rather in history. So when I read Long Victorian era novels I get particular enjoyment from the economic, social and political background of the period. Not that I claim expertise in any area.
Why are there photographs and paintings on the blog? Many people are reluctant to read Victorian literature because they think that ‘the past is a foreign country’. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. I’m hoping to use accessible images, art and gentle humour to allow better appreciation of the history and culture of the times when the books were written. Perhaps I have not got the balance of text vs images right yet, but early days.
Why are you doing this blog? I started it to keep track of my own reading from this era and put down some of my thoughts as I read. Also, I would like to encourage interest in the writing of the period. In some ways this site might end up being a love letter to literature of the Long Nineteenth Century. True, plenty of bad books were published during this time, but I won’t be writing about them.
“The good books that people write live after them; the bad are oft interred with their bones.”
– To badly misquote and invert Shakespeare. I suspect that whatever my early plans for the blog, it will grow into a different beast over time.
Do you accept books from publishers for review? Yes. In hardcopy or audiobook form. Never e-books (my eyes can’t take any more screen time). I will only review something that I think looks interesting. Any review will be the usual honest appraisal. To find my reviews click ‘Book reviews’ on the top menu.
Do you place adverts on this blog? No – absolutely not. Every now and then I’m warned by WordPress that viewers may see adverts unless I upgrade. I haven’t seen any on here myself though.
Can I reblog your posts? Yes, I have an open policy on reblogging. I only ask that you link back to The Long Victorian and give proper credit.
What is your background? Are you an academic? No, I am not an academic. I was in the book trade, then a Chartered Librarian. Mostly I’m just an interested reader.
[Last updated: 11 February 2017]