Michael WheelerSep 27, 2023
The Year that Shaped the Victorian Age
Lives, Loves and Letters of 1845
Cambridge University Press 2022
What was special about 1845 and why does it deserve particular scrutiny? In The Year that Shaped the Victorian Age: Lives, Loves and Letters of 1845 (Cambridge UP, 2022), one of the leading authorities on the Victorian age argues that this was the critical year in a decade which witnessed revolution on continental Europe, the threat of mass insurrection at home and radical developments in railway transport, communications, religion, literature and the arts. The effects of the new poor law now became visible in the workhouses; a potato blight started in Ireland, heralding the Great Famine; and the Church of England was rocked to its foundations by John Henry Newman's conversion to Roman Catholicism. What Victorian England became was moulded, says Michael Wheeler, in the crucible of 1845. Exploring pivotal correspondence, together with pamphlets, articles and cartoons, the author tells the riveting story of a seismic epoch through the lives, loves and letters of leading contemporaneous figures.
Michael Wheeler is a leading cultural and literary historian and presently a Visiting Professor of English Literature at the University of Southampton. His many critically acclaimed books include the prize-winning Death and the Future Life in Victorian Literature and Theology (1990), Ruskin's God (1999), The Old Enemies (2006) and St John and the Victorians (2011) – all published by Cambridge University Press – and, most recently, The Athenæum, published by Yale University Press in 2020.Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube channel.