- Aug 2013
The Victorians definitely get a bad rap.
Were they really puritanical? by early 21st century standards, yes.
But the medievals and early moderns were too. And largely due to the influence of the Church.
But the Victorians made the developments, whether politically, socially, or culturally, that we rely on.
Sewers, public education, mass political suffrage, no child labour, no slavery, etc.
I agree that they weren't puritanical. Nonconformists though, maybe a bit, but in a civic minded 'stop going to the pub so much everyone' kind of way
Sewers and public education was toward the end of the Victorian age. If you class a child as under 16, then child labour continued into the Edwardian era, though some laws to protect children in the workplace were being put in place before that. Hours for example Slavery was abolished in the British colonies before the Victorian era.
The Post Mortem photos mentioned earlier are creepy but understandable. At first most people could not afford to have their photo taken but gradually it became less expensive. The PM photos were popular at a certain narrow time period and with a certain class who could just about afford it. This is why the decor in them looks a bit mid to lower middle class but not totally working class. Weird to us now, but they simply wanted to remember what their deceased relative looked like and it was probably the first family photo many of them owned.