Her Highness, The Queen Victoria
Who is Prettiest?
What's not to love? Gothic arches, Edgar Allan Poe, the Pre-Raphaelites, corsets and goggles, seances and absinthe...The Victorian Era was so much like our time, and yet very different...theatres, music halls and courthouses were the main venues of entertainment; there prevailed a lurid fascination with the sensational: stories of murder, sexual scandal and divorce, yet the Victorian Era saw the beginning of the Industrial Age: the black billows of coal smoke that entwined with puffs of steam, but we have yet to see if the Information Age will produce our own revolution in energy technology, transforming society as was seen during the Victorian Era.
If so inclined, please feel free to extrapolate upon your ponderances of these matters within the comment box below! In addition, I sincerely hope you enjoy perusing at least a few of the following links...
'The Secret Picture' of Victoria
Victoria and Albert, Art and Love - You won't be sorry you looked! The Royal Collection online includes an exhibition of Victoria and Albert's art, organized into sections (my favorite is the furniture section), the photo of each item is narrated by an informative audio file.
Can you imagine Albert and Victoria lounging on this?
Queen Victoria's Acceptance of Nudity - The Telegraph online about how the exhibition sited above reflects an openness to nudity surprising for the poster girl of prude. The exhibition also included the rarely seen 'Secret Picture' meant for Albert's eyes only...
Victorianweb.org - an amazing wealth of information on the Victorian Era.
Mushrooms in Wonderland - A brief history of Victorian Faerie Lore and its association with mushrooms mystique.
Seance and Circus
A Willing Suspension of Disbelief - a scholarly and engaging article about Spiritualism during the Victorian Era.
A History of Circus - A collection of interesting articles from the Victoria and Albert Museum's webpage.
The Disgusting History of Ectoplasm - Ectoplasm has to be among the strangest of Victorian inventions...this brief blog by Jessica Penot will delight and, yes, disgust!
Prettier Descriptions of Ectoplasm - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's exhaustive volumes on "The History of Spiritualism" consist of seemingly endless second hand accounts of spiritualist stuff.
Top Ten Human Sideshow Freaks - if you don't want to see the man with two penises, don't click here!
History of Spiritualism in 19th Century Britain - Did you know that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a member of the 'Society for Psychical Research'?
Taken days after a nearly fatal
overdose of laudanum
Edgar Allan Poe - Poe's house and museum in Baltimore may soon close to save money. To implore Baltimore's mayor to keep it open, follow this link and scroll to the bottom of the page. More Poe links and discussion may be found here.
Detail from an original Idylls illustration
Bram Stoker - an interesting article from the victorianweb.org exploring Dracula's reflection of Victorian attractions to science and spiritualism.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson - Tennyson was poet laureate of the UK during most of the Victorian Era and is considered by many to be the preeminent Victorian poet. I highly recommend Idylls of the King. This wonderful site contains the full text and all of Dore's original illustrations!
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - A Study in Sherlock - a collection of excellent short articles on a wide range of Conan Doyle related subjects.
The Pre-Raphaelites - a nice page that touches upon the significance of the movement and provides biographies of the main players.
I'll pass on the S Curve! - I'd love to see historical video of a woman actually walking in those corsets that forced their chests forward and their derrieres out, who thinks of this stuff anyway? In addition to some interesting photos of the s curve corsets, there are also some other nice pictures on this page.
Girls aren't the only ones who can have fun! - informative and affordable page of men's Victorian attire.
Food and Drink
Amazing Meat Pies - This site contains the fanciest crusts I have ever seen! Check out the mincemeat recipe, and don't miss the link in the mincemeat photo to the left about the history of mincemeat pies- it contains some interesting fish pie recipes!
More Victorian Recipes - I thought the "Hygienic Baked Beans" and "Substitute for Lemonaide" recipes (at the bottom of the page) were particularly interesting!
History of Absinthe - In my estimation, the best online account of absinthe's history.
Absinthe Ritual - Fiery beverages are fun, but, when it comes to absinthe, consider putting your lighters away....
In the comment box below, please feel at liberty to propound your opinions about anything you encountered in the above links, or on what you consider the most poignant qualities of the Victorian Age.