Eminent Victorians

Eminent Victorians is a book by Lytton Strachey (one of the older members of the Bloomsbury Group), first published in 1918, and consisting of biographies of four leading figures from the Victorian era. Its fame rests on the irreverence and wit Strachey brought to bear on three men and a woman who had, until then, been regarded as heroes: Cardinal ManningFlorence NightingaleThomas Arnold and General Charles Gordon. While Nightingale is actually praised and her reputation enhanced, the book shows its other subjects in a less-than-flattering light, for instance, the intrigues of Cardinal Manning against Cardinal Newman. The book made Strachey’s name and placed him firmly in the top rank of biographers.

Giles Lytton Strachey (1 March 1880 – 21 January 1932) was an English writer and critic. A founding member of the Bloomsbury Group and author of Eminent Victorians, he is best known for establishing a new form of biography in which psychological insight and sympathy are combined with irreverence and wit. His biography Queen Victoria (1921) was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

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