Very much a manifestation of late 19th century materialism, 'The British Barbarians' was written at a time when atheistic materialism and "higher criticism" (of the Bible) were emergent, contrasting the established order of traditional values and 'respectable' behaviours.
The rationalist struggle against the irrational, placed a wholehearted hope in the goodness of human nature freed from the shackles of taboos or customs. This optimism was unsullied by the soon to be unleashed attempt to impose a Marxist materialistic Utopia, Bolshevism, which we know today as communism.
The confident proclamation of the superiority of materialism and naturalism over "barbaric" superstition, taboos, spiritualism and traditions, seems contemporary, due to the continual efforts of modern Marxists and their heirs as well as the carefully timeless manner of the author's writing.
The author pokes and prods at the English society of 1895, a society soon to be demolished by the world wars of the twentieth century.