What follows is a meditation on the idea of the average in Victorian England and its implications for the way in which Victorian intellectuals conceived of the individual and his, and less often, her, relation to society. It is not a social historian's attempt to synthesize an average Victorian on the basis of statistical data. Nor is it a proposal to nominate some actual person for the title of “average Victorian.” G.M. Young, who had Victorian England in his bones and at his fingertips, once wrote an essay titled “The Greatest Victorian,” by which he meant, as he put it, not Victorianorum maximus, but Victorianum maxime – not “the greatest of Victorians,” but “the most Victorian of the Victorians.” He awarded the title to Walter Bagehot (Victorian Essays 126). Bagehot was hardly the average Victorian, but the distinction Young made does go to the heart of an issue which, as I hope to show, concerned the Victorians: what was the relation between the average, mean, and normal – statistical notions – and the typical, characteristic, or quintessential – nonstatistical notions but still related to the average in ways at once obvious, and yet elusive.