British Literature: The Victorian Era
The Victorian Era of British Literature lasted through Queen Victoria's reign, from 1837 to 1901, and focused on themes related to industrialization and progress in the 19th century. It was preceded by British Romanticism and followed by the Edwardian period.
Excerpts from Jane Eyre
A plain governess named Jane falls in love with her employer, the master of the house.
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
A man with a magic pipe is hired to rid a town of rats. He takes revenge when a greedy mayor won't pay.
William Ernest Henley
A passionate cry of resilience: "I am the master of my fate, / I am the captain of my soul."
The White Man's Burden
Rudyard Kipling argues that is America's moral imperative to colonize and rule non-white nations.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
The famous poem that begins, "How do I love thee? Let me count the ways."
Love and Friendship
Brontë uses figurative language to argue that friendship - not love - is everlasting.
A man tells some children a dark, but realistic story in which being good does not pay off.
The Song of The Shirt
This poem depicts the inhuman working conditions for England's poor.
Lord Arthur Savile's Crime
Lord Arthur Savile receives an ill fortune and then struggles to fulfill this destiny so he may marry.
The Model Millionaire
A generous man's kindness toward a beggar yields more than expected.
Down the Rabbit Hole
In the opening chapter from Carroll's classic novel, Alice follows the frantic White Rabbit down into a fantasy world.
Excerpt from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Chapter 12
The final chapter of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, this excerpt follows Alice back into the real world, reflecting on her incredible experiences in a land of nonsense.
In this short story, the people of Earth witness the birth of a new star and the destruction that follows this phenomenon.
The Treasure in the Forest
Two men search for Spanish treasure, letting greed get the better of their awareness.
Excerpt from 'A Christmas Carol': Marley's Ghost
In the first chapter of A Christmas Carol, titled “Marley’s Ghost,” a greedy old miser by the name of Ebenezer Scrooge is visited in the night by an old friend, who warns him to change his ways before it is too late.
Excerpt from 'A Christmas Carol': The Second of the Three Spirits
In this, the third chapter of A Christmas Carol, Scrooge meets the second of three spirits: the Ghost of Christmas Present.
My Last Duchess
A powerful Victorian-era Duke marvels peculiarly over a painting of his late wife, whose fate seems mysteriously related to his intolerance of her friendliness.
The Lady of Shalott
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
In this popular Lord Tennyson poem, the Lady of Shalott leaves her magic tower to pursue Sir Lancelot, but is followed by a tragic curse.
Tristan and Isolde
Lady Jane Wilde
A knight and a princess fall in love, but at the cost of betraying their king.