First published in 1984. Signs for the Times explores imaginative and creative relationships between three major areas of mid-Victorian arts: literature, painting and architecture. Through the detailed critical analysis of particular novels, prose writings, paintings and buildings, Chris Brooks establishes a fusion of realistic and symbolic values that he sees as central to the Victorian creative imagination. He argues that the creative achievement of the mid-nineteenth century needs to be seen far more as a whole than it has previously, and that fundamental imaginative terms are common to art and architecture, to major theoretical writers such as Carlyle, Ruskin and Rugin as well as to the central literary figure of Dickens.
All those interested in literature, art, or architecture will welcome this interpretation of symbolic realism within the mid-Victorian world.