e may add to this list [of authors who wrote popular novels], though his one remarkable book can scarcely be called a novel, the name of Mr. Thomas Hughes, now Judge Hughes, whose "Tom Brown" was the beginning of that interest of the general public in public schools which has never flagged since then, and which made the remarkable reign of Dr. Arnold at Rugby, and his ideal of the English Schoolboy better known than the more legitimate medium of biography and descriptive history could ever have made it. "Tom Brown at Oxford" was not equally successful, but the introduction of the ideal young man of Victorian romance, the fine athlete, moderately good scholar, and honest, frank, muscular, and humble-minded gentleman, of whom we have seen so many specimens, is due to Judge Hughes more than to any other. If circumstances have occurred since to make us a little tired of that good fellow, and disposed to think his patronage of the poorer classes somewhat artificial, it is not Judge Hughes' fault. 
Oliophant, Mrs. [Margaret]. The Victorian Age of English Literature. New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1892.