A Bereaved Empire

Dublin Core


A Bereaved Empire


Augustus, Augustus (63BC-19AD), bereavement, British Empire, corn laws, Darius (550-486BC), death, democracy, emancipation, Empire, enfranchisement, free press, free schools, grief, invention, Louis XIV (1638-1715), loyalty, medieval proclamation, monarch, monarchy, mourning, nation, Queen Elizabeth (r.1558-1603), Queen Victoria (r.1837-1901), political equality, progress, railway, reform, republic, republicanism, royalty, science, sovereign, steamer, telegraph, triumph


In this article upon the death of Queen Victoria (on 22 January 1901), her reign is described as a period in which “we took a sudden step from medieval darkness to the metaphorically blinding brilliancy of the dawn of the twentieth century”. Citing the expansion of Empire, the extension of the franchise, the invention of railway, telegraph and the steamship and the establishment of free schools as examples of progress, the article suggests that the legacy of the Victorian era will surpass that of all others, including Augustus, Louis XIV and Elizabeth I, for its combination of intellectual splendour, artistic brilliance and political development. Under Victoria, the author suggests, Britain had become a republic in all but name, because in a break from tradition she was “the Queen of the people, not of Peers and Aristocrats; the Queen of the cottage, and not of the Castle”. This shift and the growth of public affection that accompanied it is highlighted by the author in the suggestion that an adaptation of the traditional proclamation “The King is Dead, Long Live the King”, in use since the medieval period to signify the immediate transfer of sovereignty onto the heir, was unthinkable because her beloved subjects needed time to mourn.




National Library of Australia, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32723401


West Australian Sunday Times


27 January 1901, p. 6.


National Library of Australia


Newspaper Article



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Newspaper Article: National Library of Australia, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article32723401