E is for “Eminent Victorians”

Eminent Victorians was written by Lytton Strachey in 1918, and it is one of his better known books.  It contains biographies of four of Victorian England’s leading figures.

Cardinal Henry Manning was an important religious figure in Victoria’s England. He began his career as an Anglican clergyman but became associated with the Tractarians and converted to Catholicism.  He eventually became a Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster and a cardinal.

A second biography told of the life of Florence Nightingale.  She was definitely an important figure for her times, but not a likable figure, in my opinion.

Thomas Arnold was a Victorian educator responsible for a number of reforms. General Gordon, or Chinese Gordon as he was called, was a British arm officer and administrator. He is remembered for defending a city in the Sudan for almost a year as it was under seige by a local leader.  He died two days before rescue arrived.

Strachey’s biographies were noted for revealing the real person in place of the legend. Strachey was a member of the Bloomsbury group, a homosexual and an outstanding writer.  I enjoy reading about his life as much as I enjoy his writing.

2 thoughts on “E is for “Eminent Victorians”

    1. The nineteenth century was a fascinating time. I like to read biography and non-fiction from the era. Also fiction. I am late in posting A to Z but my F post is on a Fanny Burney biography from the 1700’s.


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