A Visit To The Victorian

As my husband testified on stage in church last Sunday, we are cheap, cheap, cheap. I haven’t purchased a book at retail price in over a decade, maybe two. Everything I read is from Half-Price Books, and only the clearance section, from $1 to $3. That is how I came upon this:

This blue book from 1954 has been sitting on my shelf for a few years now, waiting for the perfect moment that never comes. I don’t know why I thought this topic would have interested me in the least; I’m certainly not ever going to READ it. Perhaps I thought it would have cool pictures.

It did.

Like this pseudo-Scarlet getting into crinolines in 1865.

London Stereoscopic Co.

I’ve always felt I was born too late, but this picture makes me glad I was born post-antebellum. You couldn’t even hold hands with an orangutan, much less a suitor, in that dress.

The author contends that the Victorian age ended in 1914, but all of these images were taken much earlier than that. Below is the building of “The Great Eastern,” which seems as though it’s lacking a noun, launched on 1/31/1858.

Very Victorian, no? Jackets and ties and Abe Lincoln hats, although this is a proper British book.

With proper tea-time being had.


And proper use of the sewing machine. The dress seems a bit much for such labor.

Lo and behold, lodged between the pages, I stumbled upon a receipt from 1955, a year after it was published. I found it ironic that Professor Wolff ponied up $3.64, whilst I, 65 years later, ponied up only $3.24.

Am I being cheeky, like this 1890 can-can Parisian dancer?

Perhaps I should motor on.

J.A. Koosen and H.J. Lawson in a Lutzmann, 1895

This last image is from 1860, entitled “Romance on a Stile.” FYI, a stile is an arrangement of steps that allows people to climb over a fence or wall. I don’t see that being done here. I can almost hear her saying, “No, no, Nanette,” or “No, no, Nigel,” as it were. The only British stile I’m aware of is singer Harry Styles, but that’s a horse of a different color.

And in Victorian times, there was no color. At least not in the photos.

14 thoughts on “A Visit To The Victorian”

  1. You drive a great bargain, Kerbey. I know you want keepers for your collection. Have you checked your local library to see if they have a book sale of donated and taken-out-from-the-collection books? We sell ours for a buck, with a shelf always available in the lobby.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes! I forgot that because it’s few and far between but I have gone there for sales as well. And there is a store in downtown Austin called Recycled Reads which has discount books from all of the Austin libraries. That’s how I wound up with a bunch of 80s Vogue magazines and where my husband got a lot of his manly books about murder and science fiction. By the way, my mom worked at the Public Library her whole life and retired from there. I spent hours upon hours on the third floor, reading, and the best part was that they had a “throw-away shelf,” where I could go grab some free books when they were about to be trashed.


  2. What a wonderful book. The last full price book I bought was in 1988 so I can relate to your frugality. What an age. Even the “naughty” girls are completely covered. Like a Go Go girl werinf an overcoat.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There are stiles in America, right? I am trying to think if I have ever seen one here but I don’t schlep across enclosed rural land here in the same way I did back in the UK. Where we lived in Scotland was very rural so we were always clambering over stiles. Getting over one with a child strapped to your back isn’t easy.

    I love, love, love that you found that receipt and that you paid less for it than the original purchaser. Fabulous! You are a bona fide bargain sniffer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never heard the word used before yesterday. Nice image of you clambering over them, though. We Americans are too corpulent to be climbing over things. I’m glad you appreciated the receipt! It was a fun surprise.

      Liked by 1 person

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