✍ Victorian People. A Reassessment of Persons and Themes, 1851-67 
por Teoría de la historia
Asa Briggs, in “Victorian People” (London: Odhams, 1954), provides a useful introduction for the general reader and the undergraduate to the England of the period 1851-67, picked out in an interesting argument as having, within the variety of Victorian England, a character distinctly its own. After an account of the men concerned in the great exhibition, there follow essays on Roebuck, on Trollope and Bagehot, on Samuel Smiles, Thomas Hughes, Robert Applegarth, John Bright, and Robert Lowe, concluding with an account of the leap in the dark which makes the end to the period. Trollope, Bagehot and Lowe were backward-looking men, preferring the society of ‘dignity and deference’; the other men more forward-looking. In several ways the essays provide some corrective to popular conceptions. For instance, it is useful to have a balanced account of Smiles, and interesting to be reminded that his work was admired by Robert Blatchford; that the influence of such as Thomas Hughes rather than that of Dr. Arnold may be held responsible for the anti-intellectualism to be found in the reformed public schools; and that the respectable Applegarth had a spell as secretary to the First International. Also this book suggests some interesting lines of further study, particularly in the history of administrative reform. Especially the local administrative reform associations seem worth attention. Being intended partly for the middle-brow public, this book may seem to the professional reader lacking in annotation.
[R. W. GREAVES. “Short Notice [on Victorian People by Assa Briggs]”, in The English Historical Review, vol. LXXI, nº 280, julio de 1956, p. 502]