The Republican ascendancy has brought with it some remarkable conservative revisions of history and literature. Various politicians and scholars have encouraged us to think nostalgically about the past. Longing for a golden age before the welfare state, some of these commentators would like to take us back to Victorian Britain in search of enlightened models of social policy and personal morality.
The leading Republican champion of Victorianism is Gertrude Himmelfarb. In a recent New York Times Op-Ed article, Himmelfarb advanced her cause by attacking the greatest critic of Victorian mores, Charles Dickens. In Himmelfarb’s view, Dickens was a befuddled bleeding heart. Too many readers, she contends, have misread his novels (...
For just $19.95 a year, get access to new issues and decades' worth of archives on our site.
Print + Online
For $35 a year, get new issues delivered to your door and access to our full online archives.