The Victorian Age (1850-1900) : Important Writers for UGC NET English

Welcome to you, readers and future academics! Today, we set out on a fascinating journey to the Victorian Age, one of the most influential and dynamic eras in the history of English literature. This time period, which stretched from 1850 to 1900, saw significant changes in society, culture, and literature. In this blog, we’ll highlight significant Victorian authors whose works continue to influence the UGC NET English syllabus and motivate numerous readers and academics.

The Victorian Age, so named after Queen Victoria’s reign, was characterised by profound social, economic, and political transformations. The period was characterised by rapid urbanisation, industrialisation, and scientific advancement, and by the global expansion of the British Empire. For those aiming for the UGC NET in English, the literature of the period is an enthralling subject to study because it reflects the intricacies and ambiguities of Victorian society.

Let’s now focus on the creative brains that arose during this time, leaving a lasting impression on English literature and securing their legitimate places in the UGC NET English syllabus.

The Victorian Age (1850-1900) : Important Writers for UGC NET English

Alfred Tennyson

Lord Tennyson, sometimes known as Alfred Tennyson, was a well-known Victorian-era poet. He lived from 1809 to 1892. His poetry was well known for its lyrical excellence and in-depth analysis of subjects like love, nature, bereavement, and the human experience. The noteworthy works of Tennyson, such as “In Memoriam A.H.H.,” “The Lady of Shalott,” and “Ulysses,” demonstrate his command of language and imagery, engrossing readers with vivid and imaginative landscapes. Tennyson, who held the position of Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom for more than 40 years, had an impact on a variety of fields in addition to literature, establishing his standing as a significant character in Victorian poetry and a subject that UGC NET English aspirants should thoroughly research.

Robert Browning

Famous poet and dramatist Robert Browning (1812–1889) had a lasting impact on Victorian literature. He is best recognised for his mastery of dramatic monologues, in which he deftly explored the depths of morality and human psychology. In “My Last Duchess,” “The Pied Piper of Hamelin,” and “Porphyria’s Lover,” among other works, Browning demonstrated his talent for developing engrossing characters and realistically capturing their inner thoughts and motivations. Browning significantly influenced the literature of his period with his inventive language use and gripping narratives. His standing as one of the key authors for UGC NET English candidates has been cemented by his comprehensive investigation of the human condition, which is still valued and studied today.

Elizabeth Browning

One of the most renowned Victorian poets, Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–1861) is admired for her profound and moving works. Her poetry struck a chord with readers because it had a strong emotional depth and addressed issues like social justice, love, and religion. Her well-known book “Sonnets from the Portuguese,” in particular, highlighted her own experiences with love and devotion. Through her poetry, Barrett Browning boldly defied social expectations and promoted women’s rights. She became one of the most prominent female poets of her era as a result of her remarkable literary talent and persistent dedication. Readers are still moved by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s timeless writings, which also have a significant role in the UGC NET English syllabus.

Dante Gabriel Rossetie

A group of English poets and artists known as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828–1882) was a notable member. He left a lasting impression on Victorian literature and art because of his prowess in both poetry and painting. Rossetti frequently drew inspiration from mediaeval symbolism for his poetry, which explored themes of love, beauty, and spirituality. Famous poems like “The Blessed Damozel” and “Goblin Market” demonstrate his command of language and a romanticism. Rossetti was a painter who was known for his painstaking attention to detail and bold use of colour. He has become a significant character in the investigation of UGC NET English thanks to his efforts, which are still valued.

William Morris

A prominent character of the Victorian era known for his many skills as a designer, poet, and social crusader was William Morris (1834–1896). In the Arts and Crafts Movement, which emphasised the significance of workmanship and the incorporation of art into daily life, he played a crucial role. Morris’s elaborate and beautiful designs were used to adorn a variety of items, including furniture, wallpaper, and fabrics, creating a lasting impression on the area of interior design. His writings, like “The Earthly Paradise” and “News from Nowhere,” not only displayed his creative talent but also his support for social justice and environmental preservation. William Morris’s contributions to literature, art, and society continue to be an inspiration and play a big part in the UGC NET English syllabus.

Charles Dickens

Most people agree that Charles Dickens (1812–1870) was one of the most renowned and important writers of the Victorian era. Dickens’ works, which are renowned for their engaging narrative and vivid depictions of social reality, shone attention on the glaring injustices and inequalities that characterised Victorian life. Books like “Great Expectations,” “Oliver Twist,” and “A Tale of Two Cities” struck a chord with readers because they pushed for social change and exposed the difficult circumstances that the less fortunate experience. Dickens had a profound impact on English literature with his enduring characters, complex plots, and razor-sharp wit. His enduring works are still valued and studied, thus establishing his significance in the UGC NET English syllabus.

William Makepeace Thackeray

Famous Victorian author William Makepeace Thackeray (1811–1863) is famous for his distinct humorous writing and astute social critique. His best-known piece, “Vanity Fair,” has earned a place in the annals of English literature. With razor-sharp wit and humour, Thackeray exposed the moral ambiguities and social vices of his period in his writings as he examined the complexity of human nature. His stories are replete with references to class, ambition, and the quest of wealth and prestige. Due to his deft use of character development and captivating storytelling, Thackeray became a well-known author of the day. His writings are still recognised and studied today, making him a crucial author in the UGC NET English syllabus.

Mary Ann Evans(George Eliot)

Mary Ann Evans (1819–1880), also known by her pen name George Eliot, was a well-known Victorian author renowned for her sharp intelligence and insightful stories. Eliot’s novels explored the complexities of interpersonal relationships, moral quandaries, and society standards in great detail and with a remarkable level of authenticity. Her literary masterpiece, “Middlemarch,” is considered as one of the best works of English literature. It offers a thorough depiction of rural life and provides important insights into human desires. The literary works of George Eliot questioned the accepted norms of her time and probed deep philosophical and ethical issues, establishing her reputation among Victorian authors and guaranteeing her place as a key figure in the UGC NET English syllabus.

Charles Reade

A well-known Victorian playwright and novelist recognised for his engrossing and timely works, Charles Reade (1814–1844). He frequently wrote about issues of social injustice, judicial reform, and difficulties encountered by women. Widely recognised as a classic, Reade’s book “The Cloister and the Hearth” stands out for its thorough research and engaging writing. Readers were enthralled by Reade’s writing because of its distinctive fusion of drama, humour, and insightful social critique. In addition, his plays, such “It’s Never Too Late to Mend,” boosted his literary standing. The popularity of Charles Reade’s surviving works among readers underscores his prominence as one of the most significant Victorian authors.

Anthony Trollope

Famous Victorian author Anthony Trollope (1815–1882) is hailed for his prodigious body of work and acute societal observations. Through the exploration of topics like love, marriage, politics, and social hierarchy, Trollope delves into the complexity of English society in his novels. His Chronicles of Barsetshire series, in particular, gave readers a vivid picture of rural life and the clergy in the 19th century. The realism of Trollope’s characters and rigorous attention to detail contributed to the realism and intrigue of his writing. Trollope had a lengthy writing career, and his substantial contributions to Victorian literature cemented his reputation as a noteworthy figure. His works continue to be highly regarded in the UGC NET English syllabus.

Charlotte Bronte

The pioneering Victorian novelist and poet Charlotte Bronte (1816–1855) continues to captivate readers all around the world with her writings. Bronte, who is most known for her literary masterpiece “Jane Eyre,” created a gripping story that showed the trials and resiliency of her female heroes while adhering to society norms. She explored issues of love, independence, and the changing status of women in society in her writing, which was distinguished by its deep introspection. Bronte’s well-rounded characters and vivid surroundings proved her capacity for writing dramatic and intensely emotional novels.She created a lasting legacy within the feminist literary canon by challenging the dominant standards of the Victorian era through her creative works. The writings of Charlotte Bronte continue to be an essential part of the UGC NET English curriculum and serve as evidence of her ongoing effect on English literature.

Emily Bronte

The outstanding Victorian author and poet Emily Bronte (1818–1848) is best known for her magnum opus, “Wuthering Heights.” Her book, which delves into the depths of human nature, love, and obsession, continues to be a timeless masterpiece. Readers are captivated by the eerie atmosphere and vivid storytelling in Bronte’s work, which is distinguished by its deep and raw emotional strength. Although Emily Bronte was a reclusive person, her profound understanding of the complexity of the human mind and her capacity to develop captivating characters have had a lasting influence on English literature. Her significance in the UGC NET English syllabus and literary canon is cemented by the continued acclaim for her poetic brilliance and unique literary voice.


Elizabeth Gaskell, also known as Mrs. Gaskell, was a well-known Victorian novelist and historian who lived from 1810 until 1865. Her writings explored topics including class divisions, gender roles, and the effects of industrialisation. They gave vivid depictions of the social and home realities of the day. With works like “Cranford” and “North and South,” Gaskell vividly depicted the struggles of various socioeconomic groups and the realities of women. Her work revealed a deep connection to her characters and an acute understanding of human nature. Additionally, Gaskell’s biography of her close friend Charlotte Bronte offered insightful light on the renowned author’s life. Because of their fascinating storylines and perceptive social commentary, Mrs. Gaskell’s contributions to Victorian literature are still widely respected.

Thomas Hardy

Famous Victorian author and poet Thomas Hardy (1840–1928) is known for his examination of the human condition and the effects of societal change. His books, such as “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” and “Far from the Madding Crowd,” explore issues of love, fate, and the difficulties that regular people encounter. By showing multidimensional people and delving into the complexities of relationships, Hardy’s work revealed a profound understanding of human nature. Along with his books, Hardy also wrote poetry, as shown in collections like “Poems of the Past and the Present,” which illustrated his close relationship with nature and his meditation on life’s mysteries. Because of his major literary accomplishments, Thomas Hardy has earned his place as an important character in English literature and an important part of the UGC NET English syllabus.

Thomas Babington Macaulay

Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800–1859) was a major Victorian figure who was well-known for his abilities as a politician, poet, and historian. It is commonly acknowledged that his most famous work, “The History of England,” made a substantial contribution to English historiography. Readers of many backgrounds found Macaulay’s unusual writing style, which is characterised by eloquence and vividness, to be engrossing and accessible. His work was notable for its strong Whig outlook and attention to political and constitutional history. Along with his historical work, Macaulay also exhibited his lyrical talent in powerful rhymes, many of which have patriotic themes at their centre. His place as a significant figure in the Victorian era was cemented by his numerous contributions to politics and literature.

Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881), a well-known Victorian author, historian, and social critic, had a significant influence on both philosophy and literature. His most well-known writings, such as “The French Revolution: A History” and “Sartor Resartus,” demonstrated his distinctive writing style, which was marked by tremendous passion and vivid imagery. Carlyle’s works covered a wide range of topics, including history, politics, and the human condition, frequently highlighting the importance of valiant people and societal change. He challenged conventional wisdom and argued for a more enlightened and just society through his provocative thoughts. Scholars and readers alike continue to be motivated by Carlyle’s intellectual contributions, cementing his enduring reputation in Victorian literature.

John Ruskin

A well-known individual from the Victorian era, John Ruskin (1819–1900) was known for his writings, art criticism, and social theories. It is commonly acknowledged that he had a significant impact in the realms of art, architecture, and cultural criticism. Ruskin’s ground-breaking writings, such as “The Stones of Venice” and “Modern Painters,” offered revolutionary viewpoints on craftsmanship, aesthetics, and the inextricable link between art and society. He pushed for a restoration to the ideals of the Gothic and Renaissance periods and stressed the value of nature, beauty, and moral foundations in art. Ruskin addressed current concerns including industrialisation, social injustice, and environmental deterioration in his social criticism. His intellectual contributions helped to shape Victorian philosophy and continue to influence cultural discourse today.

Mathew Arnold

Victorian poet and critic Matthew Arnold (1822–1888) had a major influence on English literature and cultural analysis. Through his writings “Dover Beach” and “Culture and Anarchy,” among others, Arnold explored themes of disillusionment, the deterioration of conventional values, and the search for meaning in a society that was changing swiftly. His poetry was elegant and reflective, frequently expressing his worries about the moral and intellectual decay of his time. In his role as a cultural critic, Arnold promoted the value of high culture and intellectual pursuits while attempting to resolve the conflicts between individualism and societal cohesiveness, as well as between science and religion. The incisive and important writings of Matthew Arnold continue to spark debates and discussions in the fields of literature and culture.

John Henry Newman

A well-known individual from the Victorian era, John Henry Newman (1801–1890), is noted for his academic accomplishments as a theologian, philosopher, and author. His conversion to Roman Catholicism on a personal level and subsequent ordination as a Catholic priest had a significant impact on his writing. In his writings, especially in “Apologia Pro Vita Sua” and “The Idea of a University,” Newman explored the complex interplay between faith, reason, and learning. He emphasised the need of liberal education in fostering the all-around growth of people. Given his long-lasting influence on religious and intellectual discourse, it is no surprise that Newman’s theories on religious conviction, conscience, and the function of the Church are still widely appreciated and studied.

John Addington Symonds

John Addington Symonds (1840–1893) was a well-known Victorian author, poet, and cultural historian who had a significant influence on a number of academic disciplines. He has made substantial contributions to the study of Renaissance culture and the impact it had on Western civilisation, for which he is well known. Many of Symonds’ well-known publications, such as “Renaissance in Italy” and “Studies of the Greek Poets,” revealed his in-depth familiarity with literature, art, and history. Additionally, during a period when homosexuality was a highly taboo subject, Symonds was essential in promoting conversations on human sexuality. His courageous advocacy for acceptance and his intellectual achievements have left a lasting legacy that has sparked current discussions about LGBTQ+ rights and cultural understanding.

Charles Darwin

English naturalist and biologist Charles Darwin (1809–1882) revolutionised how scientists understood evolution. Natural selection as the process guiding species development was first proposed in his fundamental essay, “On the Origin of Species,” published in 1859. Darwin’s observations and work, together with his landmark journey on the HMS Beagle, offered strong proof of the interdependence and evolution of species. His idea raised substantial controversies and altered the disciplines of biology and anthropology by challenging accepted scientific and religious assumptions. Darwin’s substantial contributions to evolutionary biology have had a lasting impact on our understanding of the natural world.


Finally, it may be said that the Victorian Era (1850–1900) was a pivotal time in English literature, with major contributions from a wide range of influential authors. Through their distinctive writing styles and topic explorations, these authors—among them Alfred Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Browning, Thomas Hardy, George Eliot, and others—captured the spirit of the time. Their articles, novels, and poems addressed contemporary social, cultural, and political themes and had a lasting influence on both literature and society. Studying these prominent authors will help aspiring candidates who are getting ready for the UGC NET English test to obtain an understanding of the Victorian literary scene and its continuing importance.

Sending you positive Vibes

Best of Luck


Read More : The Romantic Period (1798-1850) : Important Writers for UGC NET English

The Romantic Period (1798-1850) : Important Writers for UGC NET English


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