• Helen Kingstone
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture book series (PNWC)


The final chapter surveys the volume’s overall conclusions, and draws out key issues in contemporary history writing that the Victorian writers examined here were unable to solve. Although all of these historians and novelists sought to represent the whole social spectrum within narratives of the recent past, none fully achieved their promised revisionist focus on “unhistoric” individuals. Kingstone summarizes this monograph’s contribution to ongoing debates in social history and women’s studies about how best to recover hidden lives, and outlines the different capabilities of the history, novel, and utopian genres. The chapter closes with reflections on our twenty-first-century relationship with the Victorian era, and with our own troubled contemporary history. We can thus learn a lot from the competing and complementary voices of these Victorian narratives.


Recent Past History Writing Contemporary History History Curriculum Living Memory 
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  1. Pettitt, Clare. Distant Contemporaries: The Invention of a Shared Present. forthcoming, n.d.Google Scholar
  2. Strachey, Lytton. Eminent Victorians [1918]. Edited by John Sutherland. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.Google Scholar
  3. Burn, James Dawson. The Autobiography of a Beggar Boy [1856]. Edited by David Vincent. London: Europa, 1978.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen Kingstone
    • 1
  1. 1.Leeds Centre for Victorian StudiesLeeds Trinity UniversityLeedsUnited Kingdom

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