Victorian Era Life in England: Timeline and Information about Society

Victoria became queen in 1837 at age of 18 and ruled for 68 years until her death in 1901. This record for longest reign was broken on 9 September 2015 by the current queen, Elizabeth II.

Victorian era Waddesdon Manor Garden
Victorian era Waddesdon Manor Garden

She took over at a time where the citizens of England really did dislike royalty for the way things were being handled. As well, there was simply very little respect for the throne as the relatively new way of doing things through a democratic system was still relatively fresh in thinking for the majority of the country.

See Victorian Era Timeline

Queen Victoria is often claimed to have been a very good monarch. As noted above, coming in as monarch at a time where there was little respect for the throne, she is credited with bringing some respect back to it. The people of England adored her for the majority of her reign.

Governance

The Victorian Government featured one of the earliest constitutional monarchies of the world. While Queen Victoria was viewed to have a very respectful position, in reality, she had a limited amount of power in comparison to monarchs that were living two centuries before her era.

Instead of holding the responsibility of making day to day decisions for the entire country, she was often there simply to give advice to Parliament and the Prime Minister which was an elected official that now made the calls on the day to day tasks. The country was growing so rapidly that the number of jobs just could not justify it.

Victorian society

Advertisement for Smedley's chillie paste, 'the king' of cure
Advertisement for Smedley’s chillie paste, ‘the king’ of cure. Copyright: © Wellcome Images

Victorian society was a class based. You can see the various nobility titles in Britain. Therefore, the middle class not only would lose their jobs and have to find another, but they had to compete with immigrants for work. This drove the prices down on the wages and most poor class families struggled to even put food on the table. The wedding day was considered to the most important day in the life of a Victorian girl.

The girls were from the very beginning had been taught to marry and to take of the family. The marriage of a girl was something very special for the mother, the soon to be bride and her family.

Check out what were the popular Victorian era last names and play with our Victorian name generator.

Costumes

Victorian era girl's costume
Victorian era girl’s costume

During the Victorian era, women’s costumes underwent a major change. During the early Victorian era, the dressing style resembled the Georgian age clothing style. Victorian clothing style was linked to etiquette as well.

Architecture

When people hear the word Victorian, the only thing that comes to their mind is the architecture. However, it is in the reign of Queen Victoria that radical changes in architecture took place, each having their own distinct characteristics.

Ethics and Morality

Victorians were known for their morality and ethical conduct. Church had an influence on the society and daily lives of people.

Literature and Art

Victorian literature is a matter of study in most courses in the English language even today. There were several popular authors who are relevant even today. Charles Dickens, Bronte sisters, George Eliot, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy are well known because of their work and several films based on their books.

The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray

Inventions

Several inventions during Victorian era changed the life of humanity forever. Whether it was in the field of medicine, engineering or transportation, these Victorian discoveries are worth looking at.

Inventions in the Victorian Era
Inventions in the Victorian Era

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