From 1837 until 1901 Queen Victoria reigned over the United Kingdom. Her reign was filled with great political, social, and economic changes. For many the world was changing too drastically. Society was moving toward the future and progress while still holding tightly to the ideals and social constructs of the past. These revolutionary conditions forced the Victorians to create a new self-image. Historians typically focus on the Beautiful or Ugly side of Victorian England. This thesis combines the two and shows their interactions. The Beauty of the elite’s world could not exist with the Ugly world of the poor. This conflict led to the elite responding in different ways. They responded through the use of literature, poetry, and architecture. They romanticized the past. The Middle Ages to the Victorians was a time when the elites still held control. This love of the past led to conflict. The Victorians were moving toward modernity. This movement, however, came at a price. People were displaced. The Victorians were pulled in two directions and they tried to find a balance between them. The highest members of society went beyond mere appreciation of the past; they used it to shape their present world. Great literature like Dickens a Christmas Carol was written during this period. This work shows how one elite man viewed the world around him. Dickens’s magazines such as Household Words invited authors of all walks of time to explore the world around them. Poetry was the ability to find a beauty in even the darkest moments. The Victorians created a number of buildings that while the outside was Gothic or Romanesque in façade the inside was a work of modern industrialization. This thesis examines primary sources such as the London Times, Parliamentary Papers¸ the humor magazine Punch, the various journals of Charles Dickens, and the building themselves as social texts. Further work would lead me to examine the romantic novels of men like Walter Scott and the Victorian criticism of John Ruskin.