The economic and social changes of the late-Victorian and Edwardian years contributed to a crisis of confidence. Orthodox Christianity had been shaken by Darwinism, and now the difficulties of the economy, the revelation of enduring poverty, and the alteration of the social structure threw many Victorian ideas into doubt. To many men and women in the educated classes—especially younger people—Victorian ideas and values no longer seemed satisfying. Consequently, in cultural life, the years between 1870 and 1914 in Britain were filled with exploration and speculation as people searched for new ordering principles. Fundamental assumptions and doctrines about the economic and social systems came under attack and new ones emerged. For a time, even the traditional British philosophical style, empiricism, was overturned, and the Benthamite and Coleridgean strands of thought, which had seemed mutually supportive in the mid-Victorian years, sharply diverged. There was an explosion of “isms”: in addition to feminism there were scientific naturalism, New Liberalism, socialism, imperialism, and aestheticism. Thus, although this was a troubled period in British cultural history, it was also one of the most exciting.