Underworlds & Other Worlds
England at the end of the 19th century. The last great Empire. Sun never set, therefore it was always shining. The smug country, about to invent the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides, ready for anything. I have decided that the best way into late Victorian England is out. Inside out, upside down, into its inverse, opposite, counter-cultural alter-ego, the underworlds and other worlds that will help us to define the period and its fiction. Each of these texts approaches the mainstream of Victorian life by avoiding it, leaving it behind and suggesting, but only by reflection, as in a mirror, the world known in a daily way to its readers. We will look into its dark underworld and its imaginary ideal worlds and emerge with a fuller sense of the period and its cultural production. Lecture, discussion and a series of very short essays.