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The Victorians and Germany

John R. Davis

Of all the parts of the world to interest the Victorians, Germany was among the most important. Though less well known today, partly in consequence of the events of the twentieth century, German influences in Britain were strong, and their legacy substantial. This book charts the emergence, development and course of the Victorian interest in Germany. Its multidisciplinary approach, which binds together for the first time the latest research conducted in a variety of areas, shows how a discourse developed in Britain regarding Germany and the Germans which spilled over from one area of life to another, and included some of the most prominent figures in Victorian life. It provides a framework for understanding the causes of the Victorian fascination with Germany, and argues forcefully that the roots of this lay in the processes of modernisation taking place in each place respectively. It also points to the deep impact this had upon the course of British history and reveals how it prepared the ground for the future direction of Anglo-German relations.
Contents: Preparing the Ground – The Land of Ideas and Literature – Religion and Germany – Germany and the Victorian Sense of History – Art, Aesthetics and Music – Reform, Education and the German Model – Germany and the Victorian Traveller – Victorians and the German Nation State.