Assumptions that come to mind when you hear Victorian Era. How did people dress, live, and what countries were formed or forming?

When I first thought about the Victorian Era, many different pictures came to mind. The fashion of the gentry has always presented the era in a beautiful, romantic light, and caused me to relate back to the depictions of romantic writers such as Jane Austin. Yet this is not ideal, as the people of this time dressed more similar to the “Sherlock Holmes” fashion than that of empire waist gowns and jodhpurs. Also it is not likely that many of the lower class citizens actually dressed in a manner comparable to the rich gentry that one might gravitate toward when thinking of the Victorian Era.

As far as topographically, I assumed—and was correct in thinking, that the world we know today was beginning to take shape. The United States was a country at this time and despite this, many could hear Victorian and think again toward Austin’s novels where there was no mention of American culture or Presidents. If some can recall the appeals of several American presidents and well- known Southerners in the Maybrick case, it isn’t hard to visualize early America and their Southern Belles.

Although it is tempting to gravitate toward the lovely dresses and courteous gentlemen of the upper class, many of us are able to draw from history classes and look at the other side (a much larger percentage) of those thrown into poverty due to the Industrial Revolution and technology’s replacement of manual labor. Nevertheless, there still was the element of a rich upper class that seemed to overpower and influence the poorer, working class. These elements could have caused the similarities between two eras to become juxtaposed against one another.

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