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Henry Longueville Mansel's Phrontisterion (1852)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2968-4867
2018 (English)In: Victorian literature and culture (Print), ISSN 1060-1503, E-ISSN 1470-1553, Vol. 46, no 2, p. 485-514Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Established in 1859, as a merger of the Whigs, Radicals and Peelites, the British Liberal Party and their ideological forerunners won 15 out of a total of 20 parliamentary elections between 1832–1910. Responsible for passing socially progressive legislation domestically, Victorian liberalism can lay claim to being the most significant political ideology of the period. By bringing together aspects of classical social liberalism and liberal free-market conservatism, this specifically Victorian brand of liberalism enabled Britain to take a place at the center of world affairs. Indeed, by the mid-1850s, the emergence of Victorian liberalism had begun to be seen as something of a political necessity, as demonstrated by Thomas Babington Macaulay's The History of England from the Accession of James II (1848–61), a foundational text of Whig historicism, in which Lord Charles Grey's 1832 Reform Bill was characterized as the teleological culmination of British history. But while the liberals styled themselves as progressives and their opponents as reactionaries, Whig history has tended to oversimplify the dynamics of this narrative. In this context, Henry Longueville Mansel's closet drama Phontisterion offers a fascinating glimpse into a contemporary Tory response to the seemingly irresistible rise of Victorian liberalism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 46, no 2, p. 485-514
Keywords [en]
Henry Longueville Mansel, Phrontisterion, Satire, Whigs, Oxford, Oxford Commision
National Category
Specific Literatures
Research subject
Literature; History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-156550DOI: 10.1017/S1060150318000104OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-156550DiVA, id: diva2:1209938
Available from: 2018-05-24 Created: 2018-05-24 Last updated: 2018-06-04Bibliographically approved

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