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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Queen Victoria, daughter of the Duke of Kent (1767-1820) came to the throne of England at the age of eighteen (1837). She succeeded in restoring the image of the monarchy with her wisdom and gained the respect of the people with her private life: an adored husband, Prince Albert, and nine children. Her pattern of life was ruled by sobriety and hard work, in a word, by “respectability". England lived a period full of changes and extensions in every field.
Home Policy The Parliament had to face the problems of the workers with a series of Acts (The Factory Act, the Ten Hours' Act; The Mines Act; The Public Health Act) to improve working conditions, limit the hours of work and the exploitation of children in mines. In 1884 the Third Reform Bill extended the suffrage to all male workers.
Foreign Policy- Ireland found its political leader in C. Parnell. In 1880 Parnell demanded Home Rule or independence for Ireland, but the bill was not passed till after the First World War; In 1887 Queen Victoria became Empress of India and the Empire enlarged its dominions to Australia, New Zealand, Ceylon, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus and parts of Africa; In 1899-1902 the Boer War broke out in Orange and Transvaal; in 1854-56 the dispute over the borders between Russia and Turkey gave origin to the Crimean War (during which Florence Nightingale founded the Red Cross)
Queen Victoria died in 1902. Her son Edward came to the English throne trying to follow his mother's steps.
Under the reign of Queen Victoria, literature improved thanks to developed ways of communication and a new printing system. It became a means to confute ideas and reveal thoughts.
This period can be divided into three stages
The early The writers identified themselves with their own age; they wrote long books published in serial instalments and structured every episode as a plot. They tried to attract the masses with suspense and the sensational.
(Main authors: C. Dickens; W. Thackeray; The Bronte Sisters). The