The Victoria Era 1837-1901 is my favourite period, Victorian London was a huge influence to many Victorian artists and still is. In my opinion there is no greater portrayal of the dark, dirty, romantic underworld of London than Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd (though I am bias as I completely love everything he does). If you love Victorian London make sure you check it out, though beware it is a musical about a serial killer so it’s a difficult concept for many to get their head around. Sherlock Holmes is another one that springs to mind, there are some fantastic shots in there if you want to get a flavour of the period.
I find Queen Victoria an absolutely fascinating person to read about. I talk about her accession to the throne in The History of Buckingham Palace. And I will no doubt write a lot more about her reign. I studied Victorian Literature for my degree and here are a list of my favourite writers and poets of the period; Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Christina Rossetti, Elizabeth Gaskell and Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy. There are probably tons more that I can’t think of right now and I will no doubt discover them during my research but these are my top pics. There was also a key piece of literature published which of course is Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Evolution is probably one of the most important concepts of the modern era and will continue to be so for some time to come.
Victorian London was a place of huge divide between rich and poor. There was a dramatic population increase, coupled with the industrial revolution which meant that there were lots of unskilled and semi-skilled workers looking for labour. Some found themselves thrust into London Rookery’s, Victorian Slums that spread through the capital. Others were employed for next to nothing which meant they had to send their children to work at a young age. Child labour and child neglect are a resounding feature of the Victorian Period and I point you to Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist for capturing the essence of what it was like to be a child in this era.
So on one side there was many epic fails in the Victorian Period but it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Entrepreneurs and innovators were shaping the economy. The now global brand Harrods was opened in the first few years of the Victorian Period and Hovis began its life a few years later.
There is probably loads I have missed out but like I said in the About section I am not a historian. At no point do I ever claim to be an expert on these topics. Everything I write on this blog is simply out of pure interest for the subject. I pick a topic, research it and write it up as a record for myself and anyone else that might find it of use. If you want to discover more about Victorian London you’ll find all of the posts in the category section. From the Royal Family to Poetry to Famous Landmarks from the period, there is lots to get your teeth stuck into :O)
In the meantime enjoy this video from BFI Films set to a beautiful composition from James Pearson.
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