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Page history last edited by Jennifer Phegley 13 years, 7 months ago


Goals and Uses

Victorian Contexts aims to dust off texts that lie in archives and bring them into the world of conversation once more.


The impetus for the site comes from a literature professor with an interest in cultural studies. The focus is non-fictional texts: book reviews, commentaries on art exhibitions, newspaper articles and editorials, Parliamentary speeches, political cartoons, excerpts from guidebooks, floorplans, essays in the Lancet, and so on. In addition, there are categories for the arts and music, and there may be projects that include some short poetry (particularly in the satiric, doggerel, or social-commentary modes). Because these materials are vital to understanding the discourse in which more tradionally "literary" texts are participating, Victorian Contexts offers a space for students to compile these useful primary resources as well as comment upon them.


Students work individually or in groups to select a non-fictional/artistic text (or small constellation of related texts if they are particularly brief ones) that provide a useful complement to the literature they are reading in a given course. The groups place the full-text online, in the hopes of growing an archive of material that others may draw on as well. They also annotate the texts--glossing names of key figures, important legislation, relevant locations, patent products, etc.--and provide commentary on the ideas contained within the texts, as well as a bibliography of useful additional reading.


Victorian Contexts makes an effort to put online full-texts that are obscure, difficult to locate, or not available online, so that other students of the period will have a growing library of reference material in the voices of 19th-century writers.


This site is open for public viewing, so that the work may be of use to other classes. Editing or adding content to this site is restricted by password. However, we welcome new participants adding new content! If you would like your class to participate in this project, please Contact the Wiki Owner to request more information, and/or get the most recent passwords.




Subject Area Categories

Links below will send you to tables of contents, organized by subject area, of texts currently online here, along with links to other useful websites containing information in this category. Projects with obvious cross-listing appeal may appear in more than category (e.g. a project on the Royal Institute of British Architects might be listed under Architecture and under White-Collar Professions). You can also search the site for content using the "search" box to the right.  Please be aware that this is an on-going project, so new texts will continue to be added, and the information on texts already here will continue to grow. Check back for updates periodically!







Gender and Sexuality

Literature (includes book reviews)

Marriage and Weddings


The Monarchy

Music and Theater

Politics, Laws and Parliament


Science and Technology

Society and Etiquette

Working-Class Life

White-Collar Professions




Please click on the "Practice Pages" link below to access a space in which you can practice creating pages and filing them under a specific category. If all practice pages are filed here, it will be easy for instructors to delete pages that do not actually contain content. To save our storage space for your projects, please do not save practice pages in any other place on this site.


Practice Pages



Participating Classes

Links below will send you to syllabi and other information specific to the classes that currently are, or have in the past, participated in this project.


Literature 565 (Victorian Fiction) -- Eastern Michigan University, Winter 2008

Literature 420 (19th/20th century British Fiction) -- Eastern Michigan University, Winter 2008

English 310, "Love and Money in the Nineteenth-Century British Novel"--Western Washington University, Winter 2008

English 5555D: Transatlantic Authorship; Winter 2008; University of Missouri-Kansas City

English 455/5556: Transatlantic Sensations; Fall 2008; University of Missouri-Kansas City

English 426/5526: Victorian Home/Economics; Fall 2010; University of Missouri-Kansas City



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