Was an artistic, political and philosophical movement emerged in the last decades of the eighteenth century in Europe that lasted for much of the nineteenth century. It was characterized as a world view contrary to rationalism and the Enlightenment and sought a nationalism that would consolidate national states in Europe. The main themes were: Individualism, Subjectivism, Idealization, Exacerbated Sentimentality, Egocentrism, Nature interacting with the lyrical self, Fusion between the grotesque and the sublime, Medievalism and Byronism.
It was in the Victorian era that the novel became the main literary form in English. Most writers were now more interested in pleasing middle-class readership than their aristocratic patrons. The most notable works of the time include powerfully emotional works of the Brontë sisters; the satire Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray; the realist romances of George Eliot; and the thoughtful portraits of Anthony Trollope, of the life of the artisan and peasant class.
Charles Dickens emerged on the literary scene in 1830, confirming the trend for serial publications. Dickens wrote vividly about the life of the London poor, but in humorous style, which was acceptable to readers of all classes. His early works such as The Pickwick Papers are comedy masterpieces. Later on, his work became somber without losing his genius for caricature.
Interest in rural affairs and in the changing social and economic situation of the country appears in the novels of Thomas Hardy et al.
The modernist movement was based on the idea that the “traditional” forms of the plastic arts, literature, design, social organization and daily life became outdated and that it was essential to leave them aside and create a new culture. This finding supported the idea of reexamining every aspect of existence, from commerce to philosophy, with the aim of finding what would be the “old marks” and replacing them with new, and possibly better, forms of “progress.” In essence, the modern movement argued that the new realities of the twentieth century were permanent and eminent, and that people should adapt to their world views in order to accept that what was new was also good and beautiful. The main themes of modernist literature were: Fragmentation, Synthesis, Search for the national language, Nationalism, Irony, humor and parody, Daily life, Critical review of historical and cultural past, Subjectivism and Free Verses.