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The Victorian Age was characterised by rapid change and developments in nearly every sphere from advances in medical,

scientific and technological knowledge to changes in population growth and location. Over time, this rapid transformation deeply affected the country's mood: an age that began with a confidence and optimism leading to economic boom and prosperity eventually gave way to uncertainty and doubt regarding Britain's place in the world. QUEEN VICTORIA Born on 24 May 1819. On 10th June 1837, following the death of her uncle, William IV, she became queen at the age of eighteen. She fell instantly in love with her German cousin, Prince Albert and they were married on 10 February 1840. Between 1841 and 1857 Queen Victoria had nine children - four sons, five daughters. Prince Albert was very interested in art, science and manufacturing and took a keen interest in the building of the Crystal Palace. He died suddenly of typhoid in 1861. His widow was overcome with grief and wrote in her diary, "My life as a happy person is ended!" She wore black for the rest of her life. For a long time she refused to appear in public, which made her very unpopular. Queen Victoria died aged 80 on 22 January 1901 and a new age - the Edwardian - began. TOP 10 10. Vignettes The Victorian upper class (and later middle class) had no televisions to entertain them, so they entertained themselves. One of the popular forms of entertainment was for friends and family to dress up in outrageous costumes and pose for each other. This sounds innocent but just think: can you imagine your grandmother dressing up as a greek wood nymph posing on a table in the living room while everyone applauds? No. You cant. The idea is, in fact, creepy. But for the Victorians, this was perfectly normal and fun. 9. Poorhouses Poorhouses were government-run facilities where the poor, infirm, or mentally ill could live. They were usually filthy and full to the brim of societies unwanted people. At the time, poverty was seen as dishonorable as it came from a lack of the moral virtue of industriousness. Many of the people who lived in the poorhouses were required to work to contribute to the cost of their board and it was not uncommon for whole families to live together with other families in the communal environment. In the Victorian era life didnt get much worse than that of a poorhouse resident. 8. Pea-soupers London during the Victorian era was famed for its pea-soupers fogs so thick you could barely see through them. The pea-soupers were caused by a combination of fogs from the River Thames and smoke from the coal fires that were an essential part of Victorian life. Interestingly London had suffered from these pea-soupers for centuries in 1306, King Edward I banned coal fires because of the smog. In 1952, 12 thousand Londoners died due to the smog causing the government to pass the Clean Air Act which created smog free zones. The Victorian atmosphere (in literature and modern film) is greatly enhanced by the thick smog due and this creepy environment made possible the acts of people like Jack the Ripper. 7. Food English food can be creepy at the best of times, but especially so in the Victorian eraThe Victorians loved offal and ate virtually every part of an animal. This is not entirely creepy if you are a food fanatic but for the average person, the idea of supping on a bowl of brains and heart is not appealing. Another famous dish from the Victorian era was turtle soup. The turtle was prized

above all for its green jello-like fat which was used to flavor the soup made from the long-boiled stringy flesh of the animal. 6. Surgery In a time when one in four surgery patients died after surgery, you were very lucky in Victorian times to have a good doctor with a clean theatre. There was no anesthesia, no painkillers for after, and no electric equipment to reduce the duration of an operation. Victorian surgery wasnt just creepy, it was outright horrific. 5. Gothic novel How could the gothic novel (a genre of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance) not be included on a list like this? It was the Victorian period that gave us such great works of terror as Dracula, and the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Even the Americans got in on the act with Edgar Allen Poe producing some of the greatest gothic literature of the time. The Victorians knew how to frighten people and they knew how to do it in grand style. These works still form the basis of much modern horror and their power to thrill has not dwindled in the least. 4. Jack the Ripper In the late Victorian era, London was terrorized by the monster known as Jack the Ripper. Using the pea-soupers as a cover, the Ripper ultimately slaughtered five or more prostitutes working in the East End. Newspapers, whose circulation had been growing during this era, bestowed widespread and enduring notoriety on the killer because of the savagery of the attacks and the failure of the police to capture the murderer. Because the killers identity has never been confirmed, the legends surrounding the murders have become a combination of genuine historical research, folklore, and pseudohistory. Many authors, historians, and amateur detectives have proposed theories about the identity of the killer and his victims. 3. Freak shows A freak show is an exhibition of rarities, freaks of nature such as unusually tall or short humans, and people with both male and female secondary sexual characteristics or other extraordinary diseases and conditions and performances that are expected to be shocking to the viewers. Probably the most famous member of a freak show is the Elephant Man (pictured above). Joseph Carey Merrick (5 August 1862 11 April 1890) was an Englishman who became known as The Elephant Man because of his physical appearance caused by a congenital disorder. His left side was overgrown and distorted causing him to wear a mask for most of his life. There can be no doubt that the Victorian freak shows were one of the creepiest aspects of society at the time. 2. Memento Mori Memento mori is a Latin phrase meaning Remember you shall die. In the Victorian era, photography was young and extremely costly. When a loved one died, their relatives would sometimes have a photograph taken of the corpse in a pose oftentimes with other members of the family. For the vast majority of Victorians, this was the only time they would be photographed. In these post-mortem photographs, the effect of life was sometimes enhanced by either propping the subjects eyes open or painting pupils onto the photographic print, and many early images have a rosy tint added to the cheeks of the corpse. Adults were more commonly posed in chairs or even braced on specially-designed frames. Flowers were also a common prop in post-mortem photography of all types. In the photo above, the fact that the girl is dead is made slightly more obvious (and creepy) by the fact that the slight movement of her parents causes them to be slightly blurred due to the long exposure time, while the girl is deathly still and, thus, perfectly in focus.

1. Queen Victoria Queen Victoria has to have position number one on this list because the era is named for her and, frankly, she was bloody creepy. When her husband Albert died in 1861, she went into mourning donning black frocks until her own death many years later and expected her nation to do so too. She avoided public appearances and rarely set foot in London in the following years. Her seclusion earned her the name Widow of Windsor. Her sombre reign cast a dark pall across Britain and her influence was so great that the entire period was fraught with creepiness. Ironically, since Victoria disliked black funerals so much, London was festooned in purple and white when she died. Victorian gas laps that sold hot cups of coffee They were removed only 8 months after installation because people found they could ust put in pieces of tin instead of money. Over 1000 pieces of tin were found in the vending machines. Tattoos Tattoos are considered mainstream today, but in the nineteenth century, only criminals and sailors got inked. Until 1862, when the Prince of Wales (Queen Victorias son and heir to who would reign as King Edward VII) thought it would be jolly good fun to get a tattoo while visiting Jerusalem. That started a fad among the rich and aristocratic. Naturally, the better class didnt go around showing off their skin art. In 1898, in an article in the Harmsworth Monthly Pictorial Magazine, author R.J. Stephen estimated as many as 100,000 people in London alone had tattoos. Notable tattooed persons of the Victorian age were Tsar Nicholas II, Prince and Princess Waldemar of Denmark, and King Oscar of Sweden Food "Eat, drink and be merry! That was the cry of the Victorian era and the people of that period attacked their meals with great gusto! A revolution in stoves, cookware and kitchen gadgets, combined with the discovery of canning and food sterilization techniques, open up endless possibilities for the motivated domestic servant who held the position of cook. Eating was an event in the wealthy Victorian home. Even the breakfast meal featured a variety of fruits, scones, omelettes, bacon and more. From the daily ritual of serving afternoon tea and the opportunity to show off the ladys finest silver, china and linen, to elaborate banquets attended by noblemen and their guests, there was always something on the stove in a Victorian kitchen. In reality, the Victorian menu wasnt terribly different from what is served in homes today, or at least in the homes where someone still cooks. Meat, fish and poultry were common and fresh or canned vegetables were served with most meals. Winter and Autumn meals usually included hearty soups and stews while chicken and lighter dishes prevailed in the summertime. Holiday meals were special celebrations and called for the finest dishes including Roast Mutton, Pork or Turkey, Boiled Beef, Stewed Rabbits, Plum Pudding and Mince Pies. Baked good were plentiful and cooks were especially prized for their dessert-making skills. Most evening meals were served in courses with raw or baked Oysters a popular appetizer. The second course featured cream soups or plain bouillon along with a serving of baked or broiled fish. The main course, usually roasted poultry, pork or beef, accompanied by a variety of savory vegetables, fresh baked bread, and frequently some pasta, was presented by the serving maid in grand fashion and to the great delight of those seated around the table.

The dessert course featured several puddings, cakes and highly prized specialities such as Nesselrode and Plum Pudding. Of course a variety of cheeses and fresh fruit were often served when available. Wine would be served at the end of each course. Madeira and sherry after. A glass of hock after white fish or claret and port after salmon. Following entrees chilled champagne, a favourite with the ladies, might be served. But it wasnt all alcohol in the Victorian home. Lemonade, root beer, hot tea and, yes, Perrier that had recently being introduced, were all popular beverages. Yes, the Victorians loved to eat and drink. We have them to thank for a long running tradition of good food served with gusto and a pint of beer!