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Other titles in the Harvard Historical Studies series:

Harvard Historical Studies #0104: Progress and Pessimism: Religion, Politics, and History in Late Nineteenth Century Britain

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Harvard Historical Studies #0104: Progress and Pessimism: Religion, Politics, and History in Late Nineteenth Century Britain Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Faith in progress is a characteristic we often associate with the Victorian era. Victorian intellectuals and free-thinkers who believed in progress and wrote history from a progressive point of view--men such as Leslie Stephen, John Morley, W.E.H. Lecky, and James Anthony Froude--are usually thought to have done so because they were optimistic about their own times. Their optimism has been seen as the result of a successful Liberal campaign for political reform in the sixties and seventies, carried out in alliance with religious dissenters--a campaign that removed religion from the arena of public debate.

Von Arx challenges this long-standing view of the Victorian intellectual aristocracy. He sees them as preoccupied with and even fearful of a religious resurgence throughout their careers, and demonstrates that their loss of confidence in contemporary liberalism began with their disillusionment over the effects of the Franchise Reform Act of 1867. He portrays their championing of the idea of progress as motivated not by optimism about the present, but by their desire to explain away and reverse if possible contemporary religious and political trends, such as the new mass politics in England and Ireland.

This is the first book to explore how pessimism could be the psychological basis for the Victorians' progressive conception of history. Throughout, von Arx skillfully interweaves threads of religion, politics, and history, showing how ideas in one sphere cannot be understood without reference to the others.

Synopsis:

This is the first book to explore how pessimism could be the psychological basis for the Victorians' progressive conception of history. Throughout, von Arx skillfully interweaves threads of religion, politics, and history, showing how ideas in one sphere cannot be understood without reference to the others.

About the Author

Jeffrey Paul von Arx is Assistant Professor of History, Georgetown University.

Table of Contents

  1. The Sources of Victorian Pessimism
  2. Leslie Stephen: Inventing the Progressive Tradition
  3. W.E.H. Lecky and the History of Retrogression
  4. John Morley and the Politics of Destruction
  5. Companion in Adversity: James Anthony Froude
  6. Conclusion: The Political Implications of the Historiography of Progress
  • Notes
  • Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674713758
Author:
Von Arx, Jeffrey Paul
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Author:
Paul, Jeffrey
Author:
von Arx,
Author:
Jeffrey Paul Von Arx
Location:
Cambridge, Mass. :
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Intellectual life
Subject:
England
Subject:
Historiography
Subject:
Progress
Subject:
Pessimism
Subject:
England Intellectual life 19th century.
Subject:
Historiography -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century.
Subject:
General History
Subject:
Great britain
Subject:
World history -- Historiography.
Subject:
Religion : Religion, Politics & State
Subject:
History, Modern -- 19th century.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Harvard Historical Studies (Hardcover)
Series Volume:
0104
Publication Date:
19851010
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
none
Pages:
233
Dimensions:
9.58x6.47x.95 in. 1.31 lbs.

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Historiography
Reference » Science Reference » General

Harvard Historical Studies #0104: Progress and Pessimism: Religion, Politics, and History in Late Nineteenth Century Britain New Hardcover
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Product details 233 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674713758 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This is the first book to explore how pessimism could be the psychological basis for the Victorians' progressive conception of history. Throughout, von Arx skillfully interweaves threads of religion, politics, and history, showing how ideas in one sphere cannot be understood without reference to the others.
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