Questions tagged [victorian]

The Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until 22 January 1901.

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Were "spring-heeled boots" a real thing, and if so, what did they look like?

Dylan Thomas's "The Peaches" (from Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, 1940): The passage grew dark too suddenly, the walls crowded in, and the roofs crouched down. To me, staring ...
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How often was the 'abominable mystery' used to attack Darwin's evolution theory?

Darwin coined the words "abominable mystery" for the comparatively sudden appearance of flowering plants in the fossil record, and considered it a weak point in his evolution theory. But ...
Qiulang 邱朗's user avatar
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Is this an 1800's British military uniform?

The photo is of my great-great-grandfather Timothy J. Coffey who lived in Ireland early to mid-1800s My great-great-grandfather was likely born in Ireland in early 1800's. His daughter Mary T. Coffey ...
teahunter's user avatar
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When was the term 'finishing school' first used?

I'm researching an article on women's education. The earliest reference I can find to an school describing itself as a 'finishing school' is Miss Porter's School, 1843, in Connecticut. Is there an ...
andrew_writer's user avatar
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How to find regulations for charities in Victorian England?

I am writing a story and have characters planning to establish a charitable foundation in Victorian London. I want to mention their research in preparation for that, but I don't know how they would ...
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Can anyone identify this UK Victorian uniform?

I wondered if anyone could identify this uniform. I know little about it other than it is a friend's ancestor. It looks late 19th century to me.
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How did one get accepted into university in 19th century England?

So, here's all I (believe to) know on this topic and some follow up questions: Only the more wealthy (upper and middle class) did have the resources to send their offspring (of course mostly only the ...
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Was there a travel section in the Sunday London Times in the 1890s?

Was there a travel section in the Sunday edition of the London Times in the 1890s? Or was there something that was roughly the equivalent of it? If so, what was it called? (Somehow "Travel&...
Paul Reiners's user avatar
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Did they have dorm mothers for finishing schools in the 19th century?

I'm currently writing a novel, and was doing a lot of research on 19th century finishing schools for young ladies. In my book, the girls need to stay on site or next to the finishing school. However, ...
Elizabeth's user avatar
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At what age did girls start wearing corsets in 1880s-1890s Britain?

So, I found some contradicting information to answer this on the internet and almost none of it was dated to a specific time of the victorian era, so I would like to know if anyone can answer this ...
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Where does this quote come from?

Emperor Menelik II's wikipedia page quotes him as saying "There was never a time when united that the Ethiopians lost to an enemy in history". I am unable to find anywhere on the internet ...
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Were blue-tinted glasses prevalent in Victorian England and, if so, why?

Whenever I happen to read Chesterton, Conan-Doyle or some other British writers of the era, there will occasionally be mentioned people wearing blue-tinted spectacles. Chesterton especially, in his ...
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How to research a Victorian company

In June 1890, the South Atlantic (African) Land and Exploration Company advertised its prospectus in a number of English papers including the Brighton Gazette. I am endeavouring to find out as much as ...
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Did they really use these for street lights and warmth in the Victorian London? [closed]

I've noticed these in a new tv series, The Irregulars, that's based in the Victorian London. I vaguely remember there was firewood shortage. So did they really use these and that close together? What ...
BlanketOfCosiness's user avatar
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Was there a belief that the poor could steal thoughts from people's minds?

The Portal Wiki's list of Fact Sphere's Partially True Facts... In Victorian England, a commoner was not allowed to look directly at the Queen, due to a belief at the time that the poor had the ...
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Did Victorian parents raise their children "sexless" to prolong innocence?

I was reading the (albeit not very historical) Chatelaine article "Can You Actually Raise A Baby Free From Gender?" and came across the statement: The notion that a boy should have short ...
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What is this Victorian era British Uniform? Royal Horse Artillery?

Please can anyone confirm whether the photo shows a uniform of a Corporal in the R.H.A.(Royal Horse Artillery) of the British Army in about the 1870s? An ancestor of mine was in the R.H.A in the 1870s ...
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Could a person in Victorian UK be in charge of their own money at 18 years old?

Could a male or female in Victorian UK be in charge of his or her own money at 18 years old? (Circa 1888) Could a legal guardian argue in court that since the age of majority was 21, he should be in ...
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Were there historical efforts to train apes to do the work of enslaved humans?

I remember once reading something that suggested that in the Victorian era, there were failed efforts to raise apes to perform menial field labor and replace enslaved humans. Supposedly the hand grip/...
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What was life like for Australian convicts in the last few decades of transportation?

What was life like for Australian convicts in the last few decades of transportation? The last convict transportation arrived in 1868, what happened to convicts during this latter period? Were they ...
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What is this Victorian era British uniform?

Could someone help me identify this British Victorian period uniform? Is it possible to know the regiment and rank from the photo? (No name, no date, but certainly taken in the 1880s-1890s) Thanking ...
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Why was the Gilgamesh flood tablet such a sensation?

In 1872 George Smith translated the famous Flood Tablet (tablet XI of the Standard Babylonian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh), causing a sensation due to its striking similarity to the story of Noah'...
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When did London newspapers start to use typewriters in their offices?

I'm a French journalist writing a book, whose main character of is also a journalist working in the 1890's, but I lack some background. I wonder when typewriters started to get used in British ...
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Would newspapers in 1890 London have printing presses in their offices?

For a story I'm writing, taking place in London around 1889/1890, I'd like to know if the main newspapers, like the Daily Telegraph or the Daily Chronicles, who had their offices in Fleet Street, ...
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Is this depiction of command hierarchy, with the chain of command standing next to each other, historically accurate?

Screenshot's from 1:08:19. I transcribe: 2: Order the 58th to withdraw. 1 to 3: Fraser, order the 58th to withdraw. 3: Yes sir. I don't understand this command hierachy: Similarly, an officer is ...
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What rectangular object would is this Boer War era officer carrying on his left hand side?

The screenshots are from 32:34. This scene portrays Lt Col Philip Robert Anstruther at the Battle of Bronkhorstspruit, played by Kerry Jordan. I know this is a movie, but what rectangular object are ...
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Why did officers fire revolvers with just one hand, while wielding a sword in the other hand despite being too far away to use swords?

Please see screenshots below, the officers marked by my green arrows at 32:35, 1:04:23, 1:07:52. In both scenes, both officers are obviously too far from the enemy to use their swords. Why didn't ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What was Richard Owen's status within the Royal Society in 1858?

I'd like to know if Sir Richard Owen was still a distinguished fellow of the Royal Society by 1858. The information I have collected is controversial. The RS website shows his being VP in 1849-1850 ...
black-clover's user avatar
25 votes
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How long would it take to cross the Channel in 1890's?

For a story I'm writing, I'd like to know how long it would take to travel by ship from Calais to Dover in 1890's (as I read it was the easier way). Also, was it possible to take a boat from Calais ...
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What percentage of first births were illegitimate in 19th century England?

One peculiarity of Victorian England is the rather very high number of illegitimate births and premarital conceptions relative to the periods before it. Illegitimate births and premarital conceptions ...
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What are the per capita alcohol consumption rates of England from 1700 to 1900?

The rates are readily available for the period 1800 onwards but there is some trouble finding equivalent data for the period prior to 1800. Moreover, the data that I have some across so far even for ...
Jasmus's user avatar
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What was the rate of premarital conceptions in England from 1850 to 1890?

Much research has been done on the topic of prenuptially conceived births within England from the 1540s to 1830s, but I have yet to come across anything resembling a statistic for the period from ...
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How large were Victorian British military forces?

I was wondering roughly how many people were members of military services in Britain during the later Victorian era, and had no luck finding any information on the subject online, apart from the ...
A Lambent Eye's user avatar
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3 answers
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How long would it take for a young lady in victorian England to walk this distance?

I'm working a story currently and I ran into what could be a time management issue. In my story I have a young woman (late teens-early 20's) walking from her home to town, having promised she would ...
Scott.Bell's user avatar
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1 answer
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Who Is to Be Served First, Duchess or Son?

Suppose this is England in the Victorian Era and there are two individuals, a duchess and her son, dining together. The son, roughly thirty or so years of age, is seated across the table from his ...
Erika Girard's user avatar
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Did the average height of men in late Victorian England decline due to poor nutrition?

According an article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health The fall in nutritional standards between 1880 and 1900 was so marked that the generations were ...
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4 votes
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Where can I find a world map from the Victorian period?

I'm looking for a (preferably open-source) decently quality political map of the world from around 1890 (1885-1900 would be usable for what I want). I don't have a lot of experience looking for maps ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Can the assignment "Depot Battalion" in Hart's Annual Army List be linked to a specific regimental assignment?

In this question I asked about the meaning of the assignment "depot battalion" in Hart's Annual Army List, a book that lists the assignments of every British officer in the Victoria era, each year. ...
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Charles Darwin's dog in 1858

What would have been the breed and name of Charles Darwin's dog at Down House in 1858? The black and white retriever (Bob) which appears in a photo dated 1863, the Pomeranian (Snow) or someone else?
Antonio Maccagnan's user avatar
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What was the Victorian opinion of the American Revolution?

BACKGROUND It's pretty remarkable to me, though perhaps it shouldn't be, how much British popular debate there was about the American Revolution. It was often condemned, but sometimes openly ...
Random's user avatar
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Travelling to Germany in the 19th Century from London [duplicate]

The time period I'm working with is the 1890s, and try as I might I'm really struggling to find the details I need, specifically how long it would take to travel from London to Leipzig at that time. ...
MoodyMagpie's user avatar
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0 answers
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What was life like for Victorian linen weavers in Scotland?

I'm doing my family history and have found people who worked as linen weavers in Angus, Scotland. I'd like to know more about what life was like for them. Were linen weavers well-off? How much money ...
Charlie's user avatar
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Why did people have so many children in Victorian times?

I'm looking into my ancestry, and I found out that my great-great-grandfather, born in 1897, was one of fourteen children! Now I know that even for the period this is a large number of children to ...
Charlie's user avatar
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23 votes
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What was life like for an adult Victorian chimney sweep?

What was life like for an adult Victorian chimney sweep? I'm looking into my family history at the moment and my great-great-grandfather is listed on an 1881 census as a chimney sweep. I thought this ...
Charlie's user avatar
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7 votes
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Was there a particular area of Victorian London in which bookshops were concentrated?

I see that there were many booksellers in Victorian London. Was there a particular area that hosted "respectable bookshops", in the manner that Petticoat Lane was a centre for Victorian clothing?
charles hart's user avatar
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How long would it take a Victorian to travel from central Germany to the UK?

Specifically from Lauscha in 1862, does anyone know how extensive railways were then?
Moneypenny's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
548 views

How did Victorian British conservatives resolve the tension between valuing tradition and spreading empire?

I've started reading about British Victorian politics, and I have a question about an apparent tension in Victorian conservatism. I'd like to get a better understanding of it so I can have a framework ...
Random's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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How did wills work in times of Oscar Wilde?

Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest contains the following lines (shortened as marked for this purpose) in its third act: JACK. I beg your pardon for interrupting you, Lady Bracknell, ...
fara_ujde's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
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What was the price of gunpowder in Victorian England

What was the price of gunpowder in Victorian England? Any quantity will do.
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How much did revolvers cost in Victorian England?

What was the general price range for a decent revolver in Victorian England?
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