Queen Victoria, Charles Dickens, Jack the Ripper, Oscar Wilde, and Charles Darwin—all of them were “Victorian” yet just what did that word mean and what values did it encompass? This course will examine the social and cultural life of England from 1830 to 1900, from the worlds of the elite upper classes to the slums of London’s East End. We will pay particular attention to the various meanings of Victorianism and the myths and practices of progress, morality, reform, and imperial conquest that defined the era. We will focus on the "Two Nations" residing within England and how government and moral reformers addressed conditions of social inequality, poverty, and crime. We will also discuss how Victorian notions of class, race, gender, and sexuality were shaped by and influenced the politics and culture of everyday life. Lastly, we will ponder how and why today’s popular culture depicts the Victorians of the past and why we are so fascinated by them.