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.

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