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
ByMartin Hewitt

part 1|136 pages

The World Order

chapter 2|16 pages

The Great Arch of Empire

ByDane Kennedy

chapter 3|17 pages

The Shrinking Victorian World

ByPeter J. Hugill

chapter 4|18 pages

Patterns of Industrialisation

ByEmma Griffin

chapter 5|17 pages

Free Trade and its Enemies

ByAnthony Howe

chapter 6|16 pages

Imperialism at Home

ByPatrick Brantlinger

chapter 7|19 pages

Human Traffic

ByEric Richards

chapter 8|15 pages

Varieties of Nationalism

ByKrishan Kumar

chapter 9|16 pages

Geopolitics and the Victorian Geopolitical Unconscious

ByLauren M. E. Goodlad

part 2|135 pages

Economy and Society

chapter 10|16 pages

Entrepreneurialism or Gentlemanly Capitalism

ByDonna Loftus

chapter 11|16 pages

Money's Worth

Morality, class, politics
ByTimothy Alborn

chapter 12|16 pages

Cultures of Commodities, Cultures of Things

ByElaine Freedgood

chapter 13|18 pages

Urbanising Experiences

ByRichard Dennis

chapter 15|15 pages

Was there a Victorian Demographic Transition?

ByAlison Mackinnon

chapter 16|17 pages

‘Many Little Harmless and Interesting Adventures …'

Gender and the Victorian city
ByLynda Nead

chapter 17|18 pages

Disease and the Body

ByPamela K. Gilbert

part 3|71 pages


chapter 18|17 pages

The Victorian State in its Imperial Context

ByZoë Laidlaw

chapter 19|16 pages

Voluntarism and Self-Help

ByAlex Tyrrell

chapter 20|19 pages

The Performance of Citizenship

ByRohan McWilliam

chapter 21|17 pages

Race and Citizenship

Colonial inclusions and exclusions
ByAlan Lester

chapter 22|17 pages

‘Private Law' and the Laissez-Faire State

ByMichael Lobban

chapter 23|16 pages


ByBarry Godfrey

part 4|103 pages

Knowledge and Belief

chapter 24|16 pages

Worlds of Victorian Religion

ByJeffrey Cox

chapter 25|17 pages

The Creed of Science and its Critics

ByBernard Lightman

chapter 26|18 pages

The Power of the Past

History and modernity in the Victorian world
ByBillie Melman

chapter 27|16 pages


Education, class and culture
ByRobert Anderson

chapter 28|19 pages

The Photographic Lens

Graphs and the changing practices of Victorian economists
ByHarro Maas

chapter 29|15 pages

The Antinomies of Sage Culture

ByWilliam Whyte

part 5|101 pages


chapter 30|18 pages


ByGraham Law

chapter 31|14 pages

The Global Common Reader

ByJonathan Rose

chapter 32|16 pages

Victorian Theatricality

ByKatherine Newey

chapter 33|18 pages

The Empire of Art

ByAlison Inglis

chapter 34|16 pages

Aural Anxieties and the Advent of Modernity

ByJohn M. Picker

chapter 35|17 pages


Merrie to modern
ByPeter Bailey

part 6|88 pages

Varieties of Victorianism

chapter 36|17 pages

India in the Victorian Age

Victorian India?
ByMargrit Pernau

chapter 37|15 pages

Victorianism at the Frontier

The white settler colonies
ByMargot Finn

chapter 38|20 pages

Afro-Victorian Worlds

BySimon Gikandi

chapter 39|17 pages

Learning the Rules of the Game

Informal empire and the Mexican experience at Stonyhurst College, 1805–1920
ByVíctor M. Macías-González

chapter 40|17 pages

The Victorian Period of American History

ByDaniel W. Howe