A survey of the negative twentieth- and twenty-first-century critical reception of the Liberal; a summary of the history of the journal and a re-evaluation of the philosophical and political coherence of the journal, focusing on its defence of religious liberty and suggesting that religious free thought is a previously overlooked component in the politics of liberalism. The criticism of doctrinal rigidity and advocacy of different forms of religious toleration evident in the four issues of the Liberal support the claim that the journal forms a lucid and intelligible cultural intervention.
Deborah Denenholz Morse, “The Way He Thought Then: Modernity and the Retreat of the Public Liberal in Anthony Trollope’s The Way We Live Now, 1873”
Anthony Trollope’s The Way We Live Now represents the culture of pervasive dishonesty and greed he saw everywhere around him in High Victorian England. The novel has come to be understood as a text about the unfamiliar problems of modernity, of the title’s “now.” In 1873, Trollope responds to the cultural moment by briefly retreating from his liberal reformist stance to a belief only in private commitment between individuals. The novel marks a caesura in Trollope’s faith that the public domain could reform.