About The Victorian Sage

This blog consists primarily of ruminations on various aspects of Victorian literature and culture, and contemporary intersections with same, especially in the form of film and TV adaptations. As I am an incorrigible generalist, other topics also enter.

This blog was begun while I was a PhD student in Comparative Literature in DCU (Dublin City University). At that time, I used the blog to assimilate the various texts, theories and bodies of knowledge I encountered by applying them in small ways in short posts.

The Victorian Sage is the title of a 1953 book by John Holloway (which I write about here) looking at a mode of writing characteristic of the Victorian Era, a mode whose exponents passed judgement on the society surrounding and prescribed how society should be conducted and how, in general, life was to be lived,  positing unalterable moral principles. They often affected a prophetical and hortatory tone. The influence of the bible and religious preaching is clear, but the sense that conventional religion is outdated and in need of renewal or replacement is also central. Thomas Carlyle, Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin are perhaps the classic examples, but the style of discourse permeated the work of many novelists of the time, as well, and is found in several important later writers.

My research was supported by the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) postgraduate scheme from 2012 to 2015.

My PhD thesis is available open-access from DCU’s doras research repository: The Unspeakable Victorian: Thomas Carlyle, Ideology and Adaptation (2016).

My page on academia.edu: https://dcu.academia.edu/MarkWallace