The study of six of the figures who turned away from the withering credos of Victorianism, in the last two decades of the 19th century -- a scholarly, compelling analysis of social and literary forces at the close of an era. Not as arresting nor as exciting reading as The Great Tradition or John Reed, a soberer work, but equally important. An opening chapter formulates the dogmas -- religious, social, political and philosophical of the Victorian era. The balance of the book shows how six broke away, haphazardly, but finally. There was Morris with his form of Socialism; Hardy with his pessimism; Samuel Butler with his cautious rebellion against religious orthodoxy; Gissing and the growth of nationalism; Wilde and the cult of art; Kipling with the code of Empire builders. Important for college libraries, for literature study groups, etc.