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Blacks in Victorian England

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The Othered Victorians

The Victorian period was a time of great hypocrisy. Despite the fact that the Protestant work ethic was gaining popular support amongst the Victorians and myths such as Samuel Smiles' "rags to riches" became part of mainstream Victorian culture, the Victorians were greatly divided into their respective social classes. Works like Thomas Carlyle's "The Irish Widow" and Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "The Cry of the Children" exemplified the blatant disregard of the upper classes to that of the lower class. If the Victorians were divided amongst themselves, imagine what it was like for people of different religions and races. The Blacks of this period was one such race that suffered tremendously throughout the Victorian period. They were referred to as The Othered Victorians.


Victorian Novels

In Victorian novels blacks were depicted as wild savages who were incapable of controlling themselves without the supervision of a noble upper class Victorian. Characters such as Miss Swartz (Swartz is a German word meaning black; it is also a p...

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...7 November 2004. .

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Giddings, Paula J. The Romance of Two Black Victorian Writers. 18 August 2002. 28 October 2004.

Lester, Julius. To Be A Slave. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1968.

"Phrenology." 8 November 2004. .

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