Chapter 5. Individual Agents

  1. Philip Davis

Published Online: 19 FEB 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304619.ch5

Why Victorian Literature Still Matters

Why Victorian Literature Still Matters

How to Cite

Davis, P. (2008) Individual Agents, in Why Victorian Literature Still Matters, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304619.ch5

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 FEB 2009
  2. Published Print: 19 SEP 2008

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405135788

Online ISBN: 9781444304619



  • individual agents;
  • John Stuart Mill's On Liberty (1859) - defending individualism;
  • Mill's - in one sense anti-Victorian;
  • “Originality is the one thing which unoriginal minds cannot feel the use of ”(On Liberty, III);
  • Ruskin's great law of “reciprocal interference”;
  • Ruskin's The Seven Lamps of Architecture - “There is a crust about the impressible parts of men's minds”;
  • form of writing pitched between essay and sermon in Ruskin;
  • Hardy's “In Tenebris” poems – an epigraph from the Psalms