The weird and whacky world of the Victorians


Forum Staff
Apr 2010
T'Republic of Yorkshire
That's true, but I know what he means, the letters of relatively uneducated people are often much more eloquent and literate than one would expect from people of comparable origin nowadays (e.g. of common soildiers who took part in the American Civil War or in the Crimean War).
The letters of soldiers serving in the colonial armies were often very eloquent, even up to WW1.
Feb 2019
Pennsylvania, US
A reason for admission is 'false confinement ' ? :eek:

I guess they meant false confinement somewhere else, previously ?
“Confinement” was the socially acceptable term for “pregnant” back in the day. They used to cloister themselves away from the end of pregnancy till they had their baby...

So “false confinement” is someone who is pretending to be pregnant. Sad.
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Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
Women ?

'Fell from horse in war ' ?
Henry Cyril Padget didn't get to have all the fun: The Women Who Fought in the Civil War as Men
Mandukhai Khatun (c. 1449-1510), called Mandukhai the Wise, was the wife of first Manduul Khan (1438-1478), Kakhan of the Mongols from 1475 to 1478, and second of Batumunkh Dayan Khan (1454-1417/47), Kakhan of the Mongols from 1479 to 1517/47. I read a story that during one battle, Mandukhai, who was over 40 and pregnant, fell off her horse. She was helped back on the horse, and later gave birth to twin boys.

A more Victorian era woman who rode into battle was a northern Cheyenne named Buffalo Calf Road Woman (c. 1844-1879). She fought at the Little Bighorn (June 25 1876) alongside her husband Black Coyote. It has been claimed that she knocked Custer off his horse with a club.

At the Battle of the Rosebud (June 17, 1876) her brother Chief Comes in Sight was wounded and left behind by retreating Cheyenne. Buffalo Calf Road Woman rode in and carried her brother to safety, so the Cheyenne called the Rosebud "The Fight Where the Girl Saved Her Brother".

But of course what you are looking for examples of Victorian era British or American women who rode in battles, or at least in military campaigns.
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Feb 2019
Pennsylvania, US
But of course what you are looking for examples of Victorian era British or American women who rode in battles, or at least in military campaigns.
These are great! Buffalo Calf Road Woman sounds like she was a pretty adventurous/heroic sort...

But I guess the question is how a woman "falling from a horse in war" was reason for admission into a mental hospital. The Native Americans would probably have the good sense to tell her to get up and get back on her horse. We all fall off of our warhorse sometimes. ;)


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
the whole list is woman orientated , I guess anything goes , like "superstition" and "shooting of daughter"
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Jun 2017

The Victorian age gave rise to many of the things that have become the basis of modern spirituality. Despite the rise of rationalism and science, the age also saw personalities such as Madame Blavatsky, MacGregor Mathersm Aleister Crowley (just about) work their way into the upper levels of society. The esoteric Theosophical Society and Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn were formed during the Victorian era.

The Society for Psychical Research was also formed during this time, dedicated to "scholarly study of the paranormal".

In an era of gothic fiction and rapid scientific progress, as well as contact with other cultures, it perhaps isn;t surprising that the Victorians sought to make some sense of their world through spirituality.
Spriritualism was big here in Maine. In fact, I just solved a genealogical puzzle thanks to spiritualismin a way. Minot Judson Savage, who came from a neighboring town, was a Unitarian minister and a spiritualist--and half brother to one of the Civil War soldiers I'm researching. The ACW brother simply vanished but, in searching all associated connections, I found that Rev. Savage's conversion had come about when a spiritualist confirmed the half brother's death (date and place). I checked those records and--sure enough--the spiritualist was right. Not that it has turned me into a believer! :)

It always surprises me when people talk about how staid and unimaginative they were. There was a great deal that the CHOSE not to know (although they certainly did). So much of their communication was in codes. Multiple conversations were carried on at different levels and everyone knew what was being said. A dinner party then must have been exhausting.
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Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
Crows nest
Speaking of the "whacky world of the Victorians", they also gave us the School Story literary genre, with much whacking involved from Wackford Squeers onward.
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Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
Las Vegas, NV USA
The the novel became respectable literature in the Victorian Age although I think I saw that reading novels might be grounds for being confined in a mental asylum. Anyway by mid Victorian times the novel was accepted as literature, at least for more famous writers. I understand even the prolific American writer Zane Grey (westerns) was popular in Britain.