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Victorian Traveling!

Ahh! So, first of all, hi to everyone! This is my first post to this community(:

Second, I'm going to be traveling by train to Virginia (from California) over the holidays, and was planning on not only dressing up all (or almost all) during the trip, but traveling in a Victorian traveling outfit. The only thing is.. I can't find much information on them!

I know there WAS such a thing, for sure, but what did they look like? I've only found one fashion plate - of a traveling paletot - so I don't know what the rest would look like.. I assumed the skirt would be very similar to a walking skirt..? I am open to all sorts of information for any Victorian time - starting at early bustle onto Edwardian. Thank you for anything!


P.S. Any information about hats are very welcome, also! And clothing for cold weather... *shivers thinking about Virginia winters* :D

P.P.S. As a bonus, has anyone else traveled in historical clothing? I'd love to hear stories (and that I'm not the only one, heheh)!

P.P.P.S. Sorry if you've already read this in another community! I'm looking to gain as much insight from all sorts of people(:


Victorian morality is a distillation of the moral views of people living at the time of Queen Victoria (reigned 1837 - 1901) in particular, and to the moral climate of Great Britain throughout the 19th century in general. It is not tied to this historical period and can describe any set of values that espouses sexual repression, low tolerance of crime, and a strong social ethic. Due to the prominence of the British Empire, many of these values were spread across the world.

Historians now regard the Victorian era as a time of many contradictions. A plethora of social movements concerned with improving public morals co-existed with a class system that permitted harsh living conditions for many. The apparent contradiction between the widespread cultivation of an outward appearance of dignity and restraint and the prevalence of social phenomena that included prostitution and child labour were two sides of the same coin: various social reform movements and high principles arose from attempts to improve the harsh conditions.

Victorian prudery sometimes went so far as to deem it improper to say "leg" in mixed company; instead, the preferred euphemism “limb” was used. Those going for a swim in the sea at the beach would use a bathing machine. However, historians Peter Gay and Michael Mason both point out that we often confuse Victorian etiquette for a lack of knowledge. For example, despite the use of the bathing machine, it was also possible to see people bathing nude. Another example of the gap between our preconceptions of Victorian sexuality and the facts is that contrary to what we might expect, Queen Victoria liked to draw and collect male nudes and even gave her husband one as a present.

Verbal or written communication of emotion or sexual feelings was also often proscribed so people instead used the language of flowers. However they also wrote explicit erotica, perhaps the most famous being the racy tell-all My Secret Life by Henry Spencer Ashbee, who wrote under the pseudonym Walter, and the magazine The Pearl, which was published for several years and reprinted as a paperbook in the 1960's. Victorian erotica also survives in private letters archived in museums and even in a study of women's orgasms. Some current historians now believe that the myth of Victorian repression can be traced back to early twentieth-century views such as those of Lytton Strachey, a member of the Bloomsbury Group who wrote Eminent Victorians.

Victoria ascended to the throne in 1837, only four years after the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. The anti-slavery movement had campaigned for years to achieve the ban, succeeding with a partial abolition in 1807 and the full ban on slave trade, but not slave ownership, in 1833. It had taken so long because the anti-slavery morality was pitted against a powerful capitalist element in the empire which claimed that their businesses would be destroyed if they were not permitted to exploit slave labour. Eventually plantation owners in the Caribbean received £20 million in compensation.

In Victoria's time the British Royal Navy patrolled the Atlantic Ocean, stopping any ships that it suspected of trading African slaves to the Americas and freeing any slaves found. The British had set up a Crown Colony in West Africa—Sierra Leone—and transported freed slaves there. Freed slaves from Nova Scotia founded and named the capital of Sierra Leone "Freetown". Thus, when Victoria became Queen the British occupied a high moral ground as the nation that stood for freedom and decency. Many people living at that time argued that the living conditions of workers in English factories seemed worse than those endured by some slaves.

In the same way, throughout the Victorian Era, movements for justice, freedom and other strong moral values opposed greed, exploitation and cynicism. The writings of Charles Dickens in particular observed and recorded these conditions. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels carried out much of their analysis of capitalism in and as a reaction to Victorian Britain.

Original Source

The Bicycle and Health

Article reprinted from The Ladies' Standard Magazine, April 1894. This document is presented for educational and entertainment purposes only. Health and safety advice is from 1894 and is not based on current knowledge.

The Bicycle and Health.


Books - Food and Eating Customs

Included here are modern books that illustrate Victorian customs in relation to food, recipes, table manners, etc.

If you add to this list, please follow the formatting in evidence. Links to booksellers (Amazon.com, Alibris.com, etc.) are not to be placed here. If you are unsure of some information (pub. date, for instance), place a question mark in parenthesis after that info and hopefully someone will come along later and correct it.

Early American Beverages by John Hull Brown, pub. 1966
Victorians at the Table: Dining Traditions in Nineteenth-Century Ontario by Hilary Abrahamson, pub. 1981
Food Mania by Nigel Garwood and Rainer Voigt, pub. 2001
These are books that are general historical overviews of the Victorian Era in the "Old World" (Britain, Europe, Eur-Asia/Middle East, India, Far East, Pacific Rim, but not including Australia).

If you add to this list, please follow the formatting in evidence. Links to booksellers (Amazon.com, Alibris.com, etc.) are not to be placed here. If you are unsure of some information (pub. date, for instance), place a question mark in parenthesis after that info and hopefully someone will come along later and correct it.

The Victorians by A.N. Wilson, pub. 2004
Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England by Judith Flanders, pub. 2005(?)
The Victorian Vision: Inventing New Britain by John M. MacKenzie, pub. 2001

Victorian Movie List

This is a listing of all of (or hopefully most of) the period films, television series, and miniseries out there that cover the Victorian Era. Enjoy!

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How to Make a Reticule

Make Your Own Reticule
Instructions from Petersen's Magazine 1857

This is a very pretty design for a reticule. Materials: green silk, purple morocco [fine soft kid as from gloves] and pasteboard. Cut the bottom out of pasteboard the size you wish, and cover it with the morocco, bringing the morocco a little up the sides as a finish, the pasteboard having first been turned up for that purpose. Then sew on the four pieces of silk, and complete with a drawing string of sewing silk below to match the silk of the bag.

Original Source