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The Victorian Age (1837 to 1901).

Queen Victoria

Victoria was the granddaughter of George III and the Queen of the United Kingdom from 1837 to 1901. She was made Empress of India in 1876. In 1840 she married her cousin Albert, by whom she had nine children. Victoria demanded to be kept informed on all government matters, especially foreign affairs, and took particular interest in the 1854-1856 Crimean War. After Prince Albert died in 1861 the Queen spent a decade in seclusion and mourning. Her popularity recovered when she once again began to appear frequently in public. Victoria's reign was enthusiastically celebrated with the Golden Jubilee of 1887 and the Diamond Jubilee of 1897.

Disraeli, Benjamin, Earl of Beaconsfield

Disraeli was both a politician and an author. As a politician, he led the Conservative Party (Tories) in the 1860s and 1870s and twice was prime minister (1868, 1874-1880). Disraeli is credited with the development and passage of the Great Reform Bill of 1867, which added to the rolls 2 million voters, primarily factory workers. In addition, he bought Britain a controlling interest in the Suez Canal, had the Queen made Empress of India, and annexed the South African Transvaal in 1877.

Disraeli's early literary talents won him the friendship of Byron, Scott, and Southey. His first novel, Vivian Grey, written when he was only twenty-two, gained him immediate acclaim. Flamboyant and considered by some to be opportunistic, Disraeli used his money and popularity to win a seat in Parliament, where he advocated the ideas for social reform he later embodied in his political novels Coningsby and Sybil. Using a phrase borrowed from an American preacher in Sybil, Disraeli made famous the economic divisions of a nation's people between "the rich and the poor."

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Title Annotation:Literary Names and Terms: People and Places; Queen Victoria; Benjamin Disraeli
Author:McCoy, Kathleen; Harlan, Judith
Publication:English Literature from 1785
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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