Although the Victorian era closed, literally, with the death of the Queen in January 1901, the post-Victorian transition had begun decades earlier. Farewell, Victoria! presents Stanley Weintraub’s engaging perspectives on late-Victorian literature, primarily but not exclusively its fiction, which looked backward to popular antecedents and forward to the societal and technological future.
The early 1880s saw the close of iconic Victorian literary careers—Disraeli, Rossetti, Eliot, Meredith, and Trollope among others. It was also the decade of new reputations that would continue in some cases into the middle of the next century. The 1890s witnessed a plethora of experiments in modernity. The Yellow Book and The Savoy, graphic realism and a redefinition of morals, futuristic prophecy and exotic fantasy would expand taste, enlarge the market for books, and write a finis to leftovers from the past.