Note 8 to Chapter 1 of the author's Pegasus in Harness: Victorian Publishing and W. M. Thackeray, which University Press of Virginia published in 1992. It has been included in the Victorian Web with the kind permission of the author, who of course retains copyright.Authors — W. M. Thackeray]
It is customary to assume that the Victorians adopted a certain stance when using the phrase "love and truth" and that in their minds they generally capitalized the words and thought of absolute ideals. Although it would be hard to argue that Thackeray clearly articulated to himself the idea that truth and love were merely pragmatic relative concepts, be was keenly aware that most talk about them was cant. His own assertions of an unsophisticated allegiance to them as ideals probably did no more than claim to reject hypocrisy.
Last modified: 4 April 2001