By Peter Mandler, Susan Pedersen, Afterword by Simon Schama Center for European Studies Harvard University
After the Victorians, by using biography, explores how twentieth century British intellectuals how 20th century British intellectuals and social reformers sought to conform Victorian values to trendy stipulations, by using individuals: Peter Mandler, Susan Pedersen, Seth Koven, Jeffrey Cox, Standish Meacham, Peter Stansky, F. M. Leventhal, Peter Clarke, D. L. LeMahieu, Chris Waters, Simon Schama.
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Extra info for After the Victorians: Private Conscience and Public Duty in Modern Britain
Their disturbing individual sexual identities almost (but never quite do) disappear into the larger, harmonious and productive social institution of marriage. Gooch also rehabilitated Samuel’s sexuality by distinguishing between acceptable (“gentleness” and “tenderness”) and undesirable (“flabby” and “sentimental”) “feminine” qualities. When we return to the Life, we find that Henrietta also deliberately destabilized accepted gender categories—albeit less obviously and for a somewhat different purpose.
18 Peter Clarke’s treatment in Liberals and Social Democrats (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1978) skips from the details of the 1910 budget, which the New Liberal Nation supported as a matter of policy, to the outbreak of war in 1914; but the change of tone in politics in the intervening years, even if exaggerated by Dangerfield, can’t be disregarded altogether. Note, for instance, Charles Masterman’s appalled reaction to the egoism and activism of Winston Churchill as early as 1908, as recounted by Robert Rhodes James, Churchill: A Study in Failure 1900–1939, London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1970, p.
But in what form, exactly? 76 In retrospect, however, the division between the species seems less sharp; or perhaps over time, some of the Herbivores had developed a taste for meat. 77 During the first half of this century Britain’s liberal elite learned (if slowly) that they could not remake “the democracy” in their own image, and that the process they sought to direct could dispossess them. Some, as a result, learned tolerance, coming to see their values as specific and not universal, or even looking to hitherto despised cultures or classes for the mutuality and empathy they found lacking in their educated brethren and the ostensibly advanced West.