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Page 268

CHAPTER XII
THE VICTORIAN ERA

and nothing could be more fitting as his envoy than this wonderful lyrical gem.
The age of the pen. The nineteenth century has been called the age of steam and electricity ; but perhaps a better name would be the age of the pen, for almost every one writes. In this mass of literary work there is much excellence ; but, leaving out the greatest authors, only a prophet could select " the few, the immortal names that were not born to die." The historical value of these many writers is unknown, their intrinsic value is undecided ; criticism is variable, and is prejudiced by their nearness. Nevertheless, it is hard to pass over the " Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood," such a group of poets as William Morris with his Earthly Paradise, Dante Gabriel Rossetti with the weird charm of his Blessed Daynozel ; and Algernon Charles Swinburne, whose verses, ever strong and intense, reveal the touch of a master of all music.
Apart from the historians already named, the greater number of writers of history have taken England for their theme. John Richard Green, in

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