RCL: Subjects
VICTORIAN STUDIES Victorian Studies emerged as a field in the late 1950s, at a time when literary scholars were turning to the preparation of editions of key Victorian writers and historians were beginning a systematic exploration of the origins and impact of industrialization on British society. Drawing on pioneering essays on the period by writers like G. M. Young and Humphrey House, the founding of the eponymous journal in 1957 reflected a conviction that only an approach informed by both literary and historical study could adequately take the measure of the world's first fully "modern" society. This group of core titles focuses, therefore, on works of a distinctly interdisciplinary cast at the expense of some titles with which all serious students of the period should be familiar (standard editions of canonical authors, authoritative social histories, and the like) but that sit squarely within one discipline and are therefore covered under the appropriate RCL sections. Despite its name, Victorian Studies (and this bibliography) looks beyond the Queen's reign to encompass all of the "long nineteenth century," from the 1780s to the end of World War I, in Britain and its empire, but does not include scholarship on America during the same period. The field's early classics are here, as well as the enormously influential studies of women's history that began to appear in the 1970s. These remain accessible and thought-provoking and are included here in the most useful editions available, while the bulk of the list is devoted to a generous sampling of the extraordinary flowering of interdisciplinary work that has appeared over the last twenty years, with an emphasis upon those titles that would work best in the undergraduate classroom. The list also features a sprinkling of primary sources -- memoirs, diaries, journalism -- that are essential windows into Victorian culture but that, due to their non-canonical nature, do not appear elsewhere in RCL. Return to Subject List