"Dover Beach" and "The Impercipient" a comparison.
During the Victorian period Britain experienced many changes. She was named "The workshop of the world". She controlled a vast empire which obtained raw materials for factories and territories in Britain's fast-growing cities. India was known as the "jewel in the crown" of our empire. The British also had attempted to spread Christianity throughout these territories. The Victorian period was a very religious age; a number of London's churches were built then. The poet Laureate at the time wrote this poem in 1887 for Victoria's 50th Anniversary.
Fifty years of ever-broadening Commence!.
Fifty years of ever-brightening Science!.
Fifty years of ever-widening Empire!.
This is proving that in the Victorian period England was making much progress. Victorian England was not as religious as the commonly held view suggest. In the middle of the century a "crisis of faith" occurred. The spiritual malaise was wide spread by the final decade of Victorian's reign. This may be due to textual criticism of the holy Bible. Scrutiny of the scriptures revealed that it should not be read literally or as the product of its supposed author. The foundation of the faith of numerous Christians was severely shaken by these claims, especially in the Anglican Church who's its teachings are based on the infallibility of the Bible. Scientific discoverers also made belief in God difficult. Sir Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology (1830) established that the earth was aeons old, and no the 6000 years that the Bible taught. Tennyson's faith had been undermined by reading Charles Darwin. This is not expressed in his "official poetry", but in his private and most deep felt verses:.
I falter where I firmly trod,.
And falling with my weight of cares,.
Upon the great world's alter-stairs,.
That slope thro" darkness up to God.
I stretch lame hands of faith, and grope,.
And gather dust and chaff, and call.