Course overview

The Victorian years saw unprecedented industrialisation which changed the face of Britain but also attitudes. Industrial developments were perceived as both positive and negative, but the countryside was viewed as a tradition, community and continuity. Yet images of the country, as well as the town, reveal the complexity of a society adapting to the modern world. Depiction of idyllic country scenes and grimy urban life reveal deep tension in Victorian society. This course will reveal that complexity and the contradictions which characterised the years 1837 to 1901 by examining paintings, engravings, photographs cartoons and the literature of the period.

Course description

The Victorian era (1837-1901) was a time of remarkable industrialisation that transformed Britain’s landscape and societal attitudes. This course explores the dual perceptions of industrial developments—celebrated for progress yet criticised for their impact—and the contrasting views of the countryside as symbols of tradition, community, and continuity.

Through an examination of paintings, engravings, photographs, cartoons, and literature, we will uncover the intricate tapestry of Victorian society as it navigated the modern world. Idyllic depictions of rural life and stark portrayals of urban existence highlight the deep tensions and contradictions of the era.

Participants will delve into the complexity of Victorian society by studying artworks that capture the beauty and tranquillity of the countryside alongside images that depict the harsh realities of industrial cities. Literature from the period will provide further insight into the societal changes and conflicts of the time.

This course offers a comprehensive understanding of the Victorian years, revealing the multifaceted responses to industrialisation and the evolving perceptions of both urban and rural life. Join us to explore the artistic and literary reflections of a society grappling with rapid modernisation and to gain a deeper appreciation of the profound changes that characterised this pivotal period in British history.

What financial support is available?

We don't want anything to stand in your way when it comes to bringing Adult learning within reach so if you need anything to support you to achieve your goals then speak to one of our education experts during your enrolment journey. Most of our courses are government funded but if you don't qualify or need alternative financial help to access them then let us know.

What other support is available?

All of our digital content, teaching and learning activities and assessments are designed to be accessible so if you need any additional support you can discuss this with the education experts during your enrolment journey and we will do all we can to make sure you have optimal access.

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