Victorian Age Not all 19th-century writers were attracted to the novel. Walter Savage Landor, besides writing one or two unforgettable lyrics, poured out his views of the past and present in a series of literary dialogues, Imaginary Conversations. Charles Lamb became an accomplished essayist in the Addisonian style, while William Hazlitt was a more penetrating essayist and critic. Thomas De Quincey, a victim of the opium habit, published Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821), an account of his lonely youth and of the sublime dreams and appalling nightmares that had haunted his existence.
Thomas Carlyle is an example of the Victorian historian, both at his best and at his worst. A prejudiced theorist and an inveterate sermonist,
…show more content…
Unto This Last (1862) was a fierce attack on the Victorian doctrine of laissez-faire as applied to the relations between the employer and his workers, and it aroused widespread indignation. From that moment the tone of his writings became more and more prophetic and increasingly diffuse, until his autobiography, Praeterita (1885-89), which showed all his former mastery of words. Later 19th-century poets carried on the tradition of their romantic predecessors; in 1846, Elizabeth Barrett and the relatively obscure poet Robert Browning formed their celebrated partnership. Today, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's fame has declined, and "the man who married Elizabeth Barrett" has completely overshadowed her. His two-volume work Men and Women (1855) reveals his talents at their highest point. An intellectual, speculative, and discursive poet who showed a novelist's preoccupation with the complexities of human character, he was also a fine lyric poet. Both his shorter poems and his lengthy verse novels reveal a wondrous range of gifts.
Alfred Tennyson succeeded Wordsworth as poet laureate in 1850, but by that time his finest work had been done. The spirit of pagan melancholy that breathes through his early poems, for example "The Lotos-Eaters" (1832), had largely disappeared, and the feelings of poignant personal sorrow that inspired In Memoriam had eventually been stilled. Tennyson's