The literature of the Victorian age entered in a new period post the romantic revival. The literature of this era expressed the fusion of pure romance to gross realism. Though the Victorian age produced two great poets Tennyson and Browning, the age is also remarkable for the excellence of its prose.
Victorian writers include Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Thomas Hardy, and many others. In more simple terminology, the writing style is very thick, full of big words and extended descriptive sentences.
Writing style of famous Victorian authors
The Victorian era was the great age of the English novel: realistic, thickly plotted, crowded with characters and long. It was the ideal form to describe the contemporary life and to entertain the middle class.
The novels of Charles Dickens, full to overflowing with drama, humor, and an endless variety of vivid characters and plot complications, nonetheless spare nothing in their portrayal of what urban life was like for all classes. William Makepeace Thackeray is best known for Vanity Fair (1848), which wickedly satirizes hypocrisy and greed.
Victorian novels tend to be idealized portraits of difficult lives in which hard work, perseverance, love and luck win out in the end; virtue would be rewarded and wrongdoers are suitably punished.
They tended to be of an improving nature with a central moral lesson at heart. While this formula was the basis for much of earlier Victorian fiction, the situation became more complex as the century progressed.
Key characteristics of writing style
The discoveries of science have particular effects upon the literature of the age. If you study all the great writers of this period, you will mark four general characteristics:
1. Literature of this age tends to come closer to daily life which reflects its practical problems and interests. It becomes a powerful instrument for human progress.
2. Moral Purpose: The Victorian literature seems to deviate from “art for art’s sake” and asserts its moral purpose. Tennyson, Browning, Carlyle, Ruskin – all were the teachers of England with the faith in their moral message to instruct the world.
3. Idealism: It is often considered as an age of doubt and pessimism. The influence of science is felt here. The whole age seems to be caught in the conception of man in relation to the universe with the idea of evolution. Tennyson’s some immature works seem to hold doubtful and despairing stains but his In Memoriam comes out as a hope after despair.
4. Though the age is characterized as practical and materialistic, most of the writers exalt a purely ideal life. It is an idealistic age where the great ideals like truth, justice, love, brotherhood are emphasized by poets, the essayists, and novelists of the age.