Victorian Errors

When I first heard of the Victorian Era, I associated it with the monarch who gave the time period its name. Queen Victoria seemed regal and rich, so I imagined her grand court and armies of servants for every noble. The large expanse of the British Empire during the time implied to me an excessive amount of wealth and power throughout England. I pictured elegant women in huge hoop skirts and tiny waists being escorted by dapper men in top hats and tails. In no way did my imagination lead me to believe in high levels of poverty, disease, or sin. The writings of J.M. Barrie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle come to mind with far more ease than the tragedies of Whitechapel. The most striking horrors I knew were the Great Fire of London and the death of Queen Victoria’s husband, Albert. I did not even correlate Jack the Ripper with the Victorian Era; somehow in my mind, the Victorian Era was clean, neat, and murder-free. While clearly this supposition is incorrect, the occasional wonder still creeps up on me as if to make me question the dirt and disgust accumulating in the streets of England. White houses, dresses, shoes, and parasols are the clearest pictures in my head. I believed it to be a time of innovation and discovery as the kingdom embraced the profits made through the Industrial Revolution and imperialism. The weightiest drama was, as I saw it, was whether to use the china with the blue pattern or the pink for afternoon tea. I did not suppose that the wealthy could live just miles from the destitute and do so little to change their conditions.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: