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We’re New Victorians

There are strong echoes with the 19th century

By Maria Misra   June 2012

Over the last few weeks I have had the fascinating task of helping to select 60 people “whose actions have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character” for a forthcoming BBC Radio 4 series. Entitled The New Elizabethans, we had, it seemed, been invited to update the story of “Good Queen Bess.” And initially such parallels appeared plausible enough: a 60-year saga of stability emerging from conflict (post-reformation or post-imperial); of elitist culture turning popular (Shakespeare then, the “classless society” now); and of a revivified economy (driven by globalisation in both cases).

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