The Victorian Era
What you didn't know about the Victorian Era
The Victorian Era went from June 20th 1837 to January 22nd of 1901. Some think that the Victorians were stuck up and rich, wore really nice clothes, and were all about how you present yourself. Well, there is simply more to the Victorian Era than we presumed. A lot of you out there probably thought that they died at a very young age, I am here to tell you they did not. Yeah sure some of the infants and children died of either of diseases or lack of nutrition but there were others (if lucky) made it to the age of 50, 60, 70, 80 or even to a 100! The odds of living to a old age was pretty slim at first until they made some improvements in sanitation, nutrition, and medical care. Not all of the young women in that time married at a young age! It all depended on their social and economical class. They did not marry their cousins! If they did, it will probably be up to the woman's choice, just take a look in Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth Bennett was only going to marry her cousin so her family can benefit from this awful, if you ask me, marriage. Cousin marriages were only popular among the upper class. Another thing, not all the women wore tight corsets. They didn't wear them as a fashion thing, they only wore them to keep an healthy posture and to keep the internal organs aligned. They also did not wear pink. The young children usually wore paler colors than the adults. Red was considered a strong, virile, masculine shade. So a lot of the young boys were seen to wear this color. While a lot of young girls were seen to wear this color because it is dainty, delicate, and feminine. It wasn't until the early 20th century were they switched this colors.
Amusing Facts about the Victorian Era
Amusing? What can that possibly mean? Well, let me explain what I mean.
Egyptology was a huge thing! Victorians were obsessed with all the interesting and fascinating artifacts that were brought back from the tombs. Victorians attended hundreds of lectures and exhibitions on the subject! During the Victorian Era, they wore a lot of black because of pollution. What? Yes, so that means "London Fog" really did exist. This happened because there was factories nearby and usually there was a lot of fires. Smog often built up on the sides of buildings and stained clothing. Since there was like nothing they can do about this, they wore black clothing to hide the discoloring. t was considered improper for a woman to enjoy sex, and so both genders were pretty sexually frustrated. Homosexuality among men was a quietly accepted practice, but nobody thought homosexuality among women even existed. Most believed women to be asexual, so lesbian couples often lived together without anyone thinking twice. However sexually repressed they were in public, Victorians were really raunchy in private. Swooning kind of happened a lot! Tiny waists were all the rage, so women cinched up their internal organs, displacing their ribs with extremely tight whalebone, or sometimes even iron or steel corsets. Of course, all that squishing of internal organs wasn’t good for blood flow or breathing, and whenever their heart rate increased, they often momentarily passed out – hence the idea that women fainted from excitement. Can you imagine that? Wow, that's not good for anyone that gets excited on a daily basis. Bathing was kind of unpopular and the upper class only showered a few times a month. Unfortunately, the lower class only showered once a year. one source claims that the girls washed their hair with a single egg cracked on their heads. Makeup was considered to be tacky and was mainly worn by prostitutes. The upper class or a higher society were kind of forbidden to wear any. One judge even ruled lipstick to be akin to witchcraft since it was able to seduce the men. Wow, our customs have really changed!
The Man, the Myth, and Sprig heeled Jack?
Victorians were really into legends and folklore. Here are some legends and folklore from the Victorian era.
Spring Heeled Jack
In October 1837, a girl called Mary Stevens was walking to Lavender Hill, where she was working as a servant. On her way through Clapham Common, a strange figure leapt at her from a dark alley. He began to kiss her face while ripping her clothes with his claws, before fleeing the scene. The next day, the same figure caused a carriage to crash before breathing fire, laughing and leaping away over a nine foot-high wall. The legend of Spring Heeled Jack was born.
The Times would later report on the Jane Alsop case: on the night of 19 February 1838, she answered the door to a man claiming to be a police officer, who told her to bring a light, claiming "we have caught Spring-Heeled Jack here in the lane". She brought the person a candle, and noticed that he wore a large cloak. She gave him the candle and he tore his cloak off, vomiting blue and white flame from his mouth while his eyes resembled "red balls of fire". He tore at her with his long claws, but she managed to escape him.
The Victorians were kind of obsessed with this mysterious man or beast.
Doubles and Doppelgangers
Many of the people in that time were kind of freaking out. It started with a civil servant who claimed to have seen himself on the other side of the square. Another woman saw a vision of her sister across Russell Square at the exact moment the woman was dying. Well you can see why this was always was a big deal!
The whole cemetery thing was kind of a new thing to the Victorians. They expected to see all sorts of weird and creepy things. There were instances of body snatching, of bodies not being buried deep enough, or being left there out in the open to rot. So that creepy Hearse Song was probably made because of this!
Daily Life & Unknown Facts
- Education was very important.
- Food was still produced locally.
- Meat became cheaper and was considered to be "regular" and apart of everyone's diet.
- Beer was a popular drink in Victorian England.
- The women took mourning very seriously!
- Hypnotism, Divination, and Spiritualism were huge.
- Taxidermy was also huge.
- Freak shows were a main attraction during the Victorian Era.
- When someone passed the family would often have a photograph taken of the body.
- Gothic Novels were at their peak!
Well I hoped you enjoy this article!