As the debate over values grows ever more divisive, one of the most eminent historians of the Victorian era reminds readers that values are no substitute for virtues--and that the Victorian considered hard work, thrift, respectability, and charity virtues essential to a worthwhile life. "An elegant, literate defense of ninteenth-century English ...Read MoreAs the debate over values grows ever more divisive, one of the most eminent historians of the Victorian era reminds readers that values are no substitute for virtues--and that the Victorian considered hard work, thrift, respectability, and charity virtues essential to a worthwhile life. "An elegant, literate defense of ninteenth-century English mores and morals".--New York.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 1996-01-01 Historian Himmelfarb argues for a return to the Victorian ``virtues''Šhard work, self-reliance and deferral of gratificationŠas a way of combating present social ills. (Feb.)
Publishers Weekly, 1995-01-23 Although Himmelfarb concedes that Victorian England was rife with class rigidity, discrimination and hypocrisy, she nevertheless believes Victorian society has much to teach us because it preserved a core of ``virtues'' such as hard work, self-reliance and deferral of gratification. The compartmentalization of the sexes into separate spheres of activity in that era was more flexible than is generally acknowledged, she argues, pointing to women's involvement in social work, education, government and philanthropy. Professor emeritus of history at the City University of New York, Himmelfarb draws on oral histories, memoirs, newspapers and the writings and personal behavior of William Gladstone, John Stuart Mill, Anthony Trollope, H.G. Wells, Oscar Wilde and others to bolster her arguments. Her challenging study urges liberals and conservatives to move beyond moral relativism in addressing such problems as crime, illiteracy, poverty, welfare and substance abuse. (Feb.)
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