Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee this month inspired me to refresh my knowledge of the reign of that other Great British matriarch, Queen Victoria.
The internet is, of course, The Font of All Knowledge but it can be a rather dry, characterless and uninspiring guide. As a library fan I have found much to enjoy in the Children’s Section; the place to be for succinct and pertinent facts… with pictures.
*At the beginning of Victoria’s reign (1837) 20% of the population lived in towns. By the end of her reign (1901) this figure had risen to 75%.
*Beer was less than a penny a pint causing problems with drunkenness… especially amongst children.
*This was probably because both boys and girls wore dresses until they reached about five years old.
*Thomas Edison didn’t just invent the phonograph (1877) he suggested talking-books for the blind.
*The Railway Age created affordable travel for all and inspired that Great British pursuit: a day-trip to the seaside!
*Victorian Artists and Poets reacted against The Industrial Age by incorporating romanticised Myths, Legends and The Natural World into their work. (Click the Gallery tab for an album of Pre-Raphaelite paintings.)
*Thank whatever gods you believe in for the invention of chloroform! Available for use on patients as an anaesthetic from 1847.
*According to royal protocol no one is allowed to propose to a queen so Victoria had to ask for Albert’s hand in marriage (and we all know where he kept the ring *warning* this link features adult content)!
*Women (and anything they earned or owned) were considered the property of their husbands or fathers until legal amendments beginning 1882.
All these amazing facts have been borrowed from the Snapping-Turtle Guide, Victorian Life by John Guy.