Author: Michelle Rosenberg
Publisher: Pen and Sword History
What springs to mind when you think of British Victorian men and women? – manners, manners and more manners. Behavior that was as rigid and constricted as the corsets women wore. From iron-knicker sexual prudery to men so uptight they furtively released their pent up emotions in opium dens and prostitute hot spots. All, of course, exaggerated clichés worthy of a Victorian melodrama. Each generation loves to think it is better than the last and loves to look aghast at the horrifying trends of their ancestors. But are we really any different? This glimpse at life for Victorian men and women might make you think again. Men and women were expected to live very differently from one another with clearly defined roles regardless of class. However, lift the skirts a little and not only will you see that they didn’t wear knickers but they were far less repressed than the persistent stereotypes would have us believe. The Victorians were as weird and wonderful as we are today. From fatal beauty tips to truly hysterical cures for hysteria to grave robbers playing skittles with human bones, we have cherry picked some of the more entertaining glimpses into the lives led by our Victorian brothers and sisters.