With an interdisciplinary approach that encompasses political history, the history of ideas, cultural history and art history, The Victorian World offers a sweeping survey of the world in the nineteenth century.

This volume offers a fresh evaluation of Britain and its global presence in the years from the 1830s to the 1900s. It brings together scholars from history, literary studies, art history, historical geography, historical sociology, criminology, economics and the history of law, to explore more than 40 themes central to an understanding of the nature of Victorian society and culture, both in Britain and in the rest of the world. Organised around six core themes – the world order, economy and society, politics, knowledge and belief, and culture – The Victorian World offers thematic essays that consider the interplay of domestic and global dynamics in the formation of Victorian orthodoxies. A further section on ‘Varieties of Victorianism’ offers considerations of the production and reproduction of external versions of Victorian culture, in India, Africa, the United States, the settler colonies and Latin America. These thematic essays are supplemented by a substantial introductory essay, which offers a challenging alternative to traditional interpretations of the chronology and periodisation of the Victorian years.

Lavishly illustrated, vivid and accessible, this volume is invaluable reading for all students and scholars of the nineteenth century.

chapter 1|53 pages


Victorian milestones

part 1|136 pages

The World Order

chapter 2|16 pages

The Great Arch of Empire

chapter 3|17 pages

The Shrinking Victorian World

chapter 4|18 pages

Patterns of Industrialisation

chapter 5|17 pages

Free Trade and its Enemies

chapter 6|16 pages

Imperialism at Home

chapter 7|19 pages

Human Traffic

chapter 8|15 pages

Varieties of Nationalism

part 2|135 pages

Economy and Society

chapter 11|16 pages

Money's Worth

Morality, class, politics

chapter 13|18 pages

Urbanising Experiences

chapter 16|17 pages

‘Many Little Harmless and Interesting Adventures …'

Gender and the Victorian city

chapter 17|18 pages

Disease and the Body

part 3|71 pages


chapter 19|16 pages

Voluntarism and Self-Help

chapter 20|19 pages

The Performance of Citizenship

chapter 21|17 pages

Race and Citizenship

Colonial inclusions and exclusions

chapter 23|16 pages


part 4|103 pages

Knowledge and Belief

chapter 24|16 pages

Worlds of Victorian Religion

chapter 26|18 pages

The Power of the Past

History and modernity in the Victorian world

chapter 27|16 pages


Education, class and culture

chapter 28|19 pages

The Photographic Lens

Graphs and the changing practices of Victorian economists

chapter 29|15 pages

The Antinomies of Sage Culture

part 5|101 pages


chapter 30|18 pages


chapter 31|14 pages

The Global Common Reader

chapter 32|16 pages

Victorian Theatricality

chapter 33|18 pages

The Empire of Art

chapter 35|17 pages


Merrie to modern

part 6|88 pages

Varieties of Victorianism

chapter 36|17 pages

India in the Victorian Age

Victorian India?

chapter 37|15 pages

Victorianism at the Frontier

The white settler colonies

chapter 38|20 pages

Afro-Victorian Worlds

chapter 39|17 pages

Learning the Rules of the Game

Informal empire and the Mexican experience at Stonyhurst College, 1805–1920