lay off the Victorian Era!

Friday, January 9, 2009

"A terrific book...opens up a dark door in the Victorian credenza--dense with detail, and yet with a nimbleness to the writing that's unusual even for a very good detective story."—Nicholson Baker, reviewing The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher

How many doors are there on this credenza? It seems every writer during, since, and everywhere between and beyond has something bad to say about the Victorian Era. People have been dragging it through the mud for 175 years, what the Hell of it is left to criticize?

Victorian-Era England had a strict moral code and people were rapaciously deviant perverts and violated it. Okay, that's cool. Can we move on?

Wouldn't it be much more novel if, instead of imagining up some new hypocrisy, a writer actually found something decent to say about the Victorian Era?