This is why I studied literature in college. This is why I became a teacher: to share in grand conversations about books, to spread the joy, to initiate and welcome students into the fraternity, into ..."the club of clubs," to travel with them into wondrously familiar or incredibly strange imaginative worlds.
Jeffrey D. Wilhelm
The Victorian Age was called the "age of fiction" because of the immense popularity the genre gained in the period. Many outstanding writers turned to novel writing and the number of novels published yearly increased enormously. Novels were also serialised in magazines. The first part of the Victorian Age was characterised by the triumph of the realistic novel. Both characters and events were interpreted and judged by an omniscient narrator who expressed the dominant moral view of the time. The story generally ended in a happy way or at least with good triumphing over evil. In the second part of the Victorian Age an anti-Victorian trend developed in the criticism of the hypocrisy and bigotry of the middle classes. The general anti-Victorian trend culminated towards the end of the century with the Aesthetic Movement which rejected the Victorian moral view of literature.
Here you can download a handout about the Victorian novel.