Leisure’s Epitaph

John Pemble

  • Consuming Passions: Leisure and Pleasure in Victorian Britain by Judith Flanders
    HarperPress, 604 pp, £20.00, August 2006, ISBN 0 00 717295 8

Will the history of the Victorian age ever be written? Lytton Strachey was emphatic that it wouldn’t. It will never be written, he declared in the preface to Eminent Victorians, because we know too much about it. Neither a Ranke nor a Gibbon could master the vast ocean of material bequeathed by those prolific generations. The historian could do no more than row across it, sink a bucket, and retrieve a few random and suggestive samples.

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