Victorian Prose Writers in English Literature

Early Victorian Prose Writers

Conservative by temperament and religious by inheritance, most of the first generation Victorians were against the new forces of industry, utilitarian ethics and political democracy. They fought these forces.

  1. Thomas Carlyle: Carlyle was the dominant figure of the Victorian Age. He is famous for his works like Hero and Hero-Worship, Oliver Cromwell’s Letters, Speeches, Past and Present, Life of Frederick he worked as teacher and prophet. There he was called “the Sage of Chelsa”.
  2. John Ruskin: He is known for his short works like Seven Lamps of Architecture, The Stones of Venice, Unto the Last
  3. Lord B. Macaulay: He is mainly famous for his works History of England, Essays on Milton

Later Victorian Prose Writers

Like the second generation of fiction writers in the Victorian Age, the second generation of prose writers was more conscious of the art of prose writing than their predecessors.

  • They were rather indifferent to the theological, political and economic issues of their time; unlike their predecessors, they made writing, the sole business of their life. “Art for Art’s Sake” was their slogan.
  • They reacted against ‘applied’ literature, or the prose of purpose, which debated current issues or preached moral or political philosophies.
  • There was a return of nature in English Prose of this age.
  1. Walter Peter: He was the most significant prose writer of the later Victorian era. His important works are The Renaissance, Imaginary Portraits.
  2. R. L. Stevenson: Elements of Imagination in later Victorian age are best exemplified in Essays of Stevenson.