The creepy Victorians

I plan writing a Victorian romance and I am currently researching, like a maniac, anything relating to the Victorian era (1837 -1901). I must confess, there is a lot of disturbing crap behind all that opulence. As a preliminary conclusion, being a woman, or a servant or even worse, a woman servant..kinda sucked. Excuse my lack of civility, but all that reverential nonsense, that seems so charming in nowadays literature or movies, is a thin crust that covers a lot of putrid truths which plagued that particular moment in time. I have posted below a few examples, so well captured by the commercial adds of that era. WTH!!!!Mothers were actually giving their kids opium to ease their colics.




Yes, the girl in black is dead
And to completely creep you out, I must mention the post-mortem photos, that Victorians used to take of their departed loved ones. They had a special mechanism that would support the corpse of the loved one, in various positions so that they could be present at the last family photo.




12 comments:

Alida said...

Fabulous post! This is really interesting. I didn't know about all these things and I live in the UK. The Victorian era has left a big imprint in English history and it has always been seen has a great era. Never knows this details... def creepy!!!!

The Furries of Whisppy said...

That posing of the dead for the "last photo" gave me goosebumps...especially after I read that the girl in black was in fact, dead.

Judith said...

Cocaine for medicinal reasons stayed popular for a while--it DID make you feel better:) I love the Victorian era--such a thin veneer to hide many sins. Pamela West's novel, Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper caught a lot of the seediness of those times, and the TV show Ripper Street on BBC America does a great job of it. My friend's read all of the Anne Perry mystery novels set then.

Judith said...

P.S. Forgot to mention. It didn't pay for a woman to get a divorce back then either. She was out on the street, even if her husband just got tired of her.

Sissym Mascarenhas said...



Dear,

I wish you success in the new work, I imagine that this matter is exciting.

Kisses

Elephant's Child said...

Oh yes, it was a very unsafe time to live in if you were not born with the dangly bits. And preferably some money too.
Good luck with your research - and your writing.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Her hands are very creepy!

Launna said...

Wow Petronella, this is just weird, I am so glad I was born in this era..how very, very strange about the photos... you are right... CREEPY...

Tamago said...

What an interesting post! I didn't 't know these things... Cocaine toothache drop...oh how crazy! But the family picture with dead body is way too creepy....

Polly Dot said...

Well now Petronela, I am going to shock you because in our newspapers recently they say that something similar to this is being brought back into fashion today and although I dislike putting links into comments I thought I would share one of the items which I cannot say I find at all tasteful: http://news.msn.com/offbeat/dead-puerto-rico-boxer-posed-standing-in-the-ring

When I was younger, I confess that I used to read Barbara Cartland novels which were mostly based around this particular period of time and I found them really enjoyable. So good luck with your latest venture - I think it is an excellent choice.

Bouncin Barb said...

That last photo is down right CREEPY! Things were so very different indeed back then. Perhaps that opium and cocaine kept the ladies "at bay" for all the men!! Great post. Hope all is well! Xx

Grace said...

Have got to agree with you there - the after-death posed photos - weird.

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