The Language of Flowers: A Victorian Tradition

For centuries people have attributed meanings to flowers, herbs, and various plants. Interest in floriography, or the language of flowers, soared during the reign of Queen Victoria. This cryptologic style of floral communication could “say” what members of the society dared not speak aloud: the rigid social constrictions of the upper class helped to create a “language” that is indeed beautiful to behold.

The Asylum: Steampunk Festival Destination Travel

Looking for an unusual steampunk-themed travel destination for 2016?

Billed as the largest and longest running steampunk festival in the world, the Asylum takes place this year August 26th to August 29th in the historic City of Lincoln. Many of the venues that house festival activities have ties to Victorian England and lend an authentic sense of time/place to a festival which celebrates, in part, a reimagining of that era. But steampunk is more than a neo-Victorian celebration, and additions like a costume parade, professional tea dueling, “illicit” market, and craft zones add flair to the proceedings.

Fun & Unusual Facts About Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol”

How many times did it snow in London on Christmas day during Charles Dickens’s lifetime? Why did Frank, the character played by Bill Murray in Scrooged, apparently think that Christmas Eve fell on November 23rd? Why are Viserys Targaryen and Norman Bates featured in an article about A Christmas Carol? Read on to learn the answers to these questions, and so much more . . .

The Dark Side of Steam Travel

When the Great Britain launched in 1843, the steam ship was called “the greatest experiment since the creation.” It was hailed as a revolutionary step forward in technology. But that step forward helped launch the British Empire into a dark chapter in their history and the price for progress was paid in blood.

The Crystal Palace: Victorian Era Science, Technology, & Industry at its Best

The Crystal Palace, a giant glass and iron exhibition hall built in Hyde Park, housed the 1851 Great Exhibition of The Works of Industry of All Nations. Many consider this remarkable structure to be one of the touchstones of Victorian England—an intrinsic part of the cultural system that both shaped and reflected the nation’s values. Sir Joseph Paxton’s design made such an impact in the field of architecture that replicas of the structure were built in Spain and the United States. Yet such were mainstream British attitudes toward foreign influence during the Victorian era that the construction of The Crystal Palace, and the Great Exhibition, almost didn’t occur.

June 28th, 1838 – The Coronation of Queen Victoria

Victoria turned 18 on May 24th, 1837, and a regency was avoided. On June 20th, 1837, William IV died at the age of 71, and Victoria became Queen of the United Kingdom. In her diary she wrote, “I was awoke at 6 o’clock by Mamma, who told me the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Conyngham were […]

May 14th, 1889 – British Law to Finally Protect Children

On a trip to New York in 1881, Liverpool businessman Thomas Agnew (1834–1924) visited the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. He was so impressed by the charity, that he returned to England determined to provide similar help for the children of Liverpool. In 1883 he set up the Liverpool Society […]

May 13th, 1861 – Queen Victoria’s Proclamation on the US Civil War

The Confederate States of America (CSA or C.S.), commonly referred to as the Confederacy, was an unrecognized confederation of secessionist American states existing from 1861 to 1865. It was originally formed by seven slave states in the Lower South region of the United States whose regional economy was mostly dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton, and […]

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