Short notes on naughty nineties as a revolt against Victorianism


In the last ten years of the century many powerful new forces are to be seen at the workfolk pulling down the edifice of Victorianism. The process of destruction (party of re-construction) was attended with a lot of confusion, stress and strain. Therefore, Joseph Warren Beach is right in saying that the last years of the nineteenth century were, “a somewhat miscellaneous and uneasy period.”

Some ultra-Radicals as Oscar Wilde were “naughty” in their revolt against the Victorian inhibition on sex, and in their advocacy of “art for art’s sake”. Most of the outstanding Victorians had been critics and revolutionaries who stood against the time-spirit.

Carlyle, Ruskin, Arnold and Rossetti may be noted in this context. But in this decade the condemnation and I criticism of Victorianism is more wholesale and through than ever before. The basic assumptions f of the age is now criticized for the first time.

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