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Review: The Victorian Web

http://www.victorianweb.org/

It may seem like a digression to discuss a resource about the Victorian era in a class about Romanticism, but I think it may be worthwhile to examine the Romantic legacy in later writers, particularly those writers who fall somewhat between the two movements such as the Bronte sisters, to whom I will devote more attention in my other blogging assignment.

The Victorian Web was started by Brown University as a resource for courses in Victorian literature, but it is open to the public. The webmaster is George P. Landow, professor of English and Art History at Brown University. He and several editors organize and edit information contributed to the site by undergraduate and postgraduate students, and contribute information themselves. Anyone is allowed to use information from their site as long as it is properly cited, as the copyright is retained by its original writers.

The Victorian Web presents the Victorian period as a web of interrelated aspects of the period, such as history, philosophy, religion, science, authors, and economics. Among other things, each of these has its own link on the home page. Users can follow a series of links to get to more and more specific information about a certain aspect of the Victorian era to aid them in their research. In my opinion, this is the strongest aspect of the website, as it allows users to hone in on information they want while also being simultaneously exposed to related contexts that may be able to help them reach an interdisciplinary understanding of their intended works and authors. However, The site also has a search function for users who want to bypass this process. It also contains links to other resources, criticism ebooks, a limited selection of Victorian texts, and useful information about the website. The information presented within each section is concise and its sources are well documented.

One drawback to this site is that there is no visual differentiation between links and normal text, and sometimes there are items listed that are not links at all. And the massive amount of links must make the site difficult to maintain, and I found a few broken links while exploring the site.

Overall I think this is a very good resource. Its credibility is easy to establish and cite, and it is very useful for gathering a lot of different information from one place.

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