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The Victorians and Old Age$
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Karen Chase

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199564361

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199564361.001.0001

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Victoria to Victorian: The Queen and her Age

Victoria to Victorian: The Queen and her Age

(p.153) 4 Victoria to Victorian: The Queen and her Age
The Victorians and Old Age

Karen Chase (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

By extending the analyses of works by Carroll, Oliphant, and Gaskell, the discussion explores the constructions of age in the later part of the century. Looming over all is the figure of Queen Victoria, whose aging becomes the subject of self-reflection and cultural preoccupation. The analysis here weaves the Queen's subjective impressions, her feelings of superfluity and powerlessness, with the growing perception that the period was itself an age of retrospection, an age turned in upon itself. One consequence was an exaggerated heightening—amounting to a ‘war’—between the ‘New Age’ and old age. The plethora of journalistic essays pitting mothers against ‘revolting’ daughters became a symbol for the generational discord long smoldering.

Keywords:   queenliness, New Woman, revolting daughters, retrospection, superfluity

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