However this was not always the case; a cursory survey among the older generation born before World War 2 would unveil a reticence and reluctance about discussing personal matters. Along with an exploration of what lay behind this reticence will be a discussion of the rituals of courtship which have changed beyond recognition; the experiences of the previous generation are now dismissed as archaic and restrictive. The next two entries will talk about love, courtship, marriage, sex and married life from the late 19th century until the outbreak of the Second World War. As this is a fairly broad topic and quite complicated, we will try our best to explore attitudes then and emphasise how different norms and attitudes applied then and now. All details are based on research, reading contemporary accounts and academic and popular studies. Contemporary accounts concerning sex should be read with caution as it is highly likely that they were embellished, sanitised or simply outright fabrications. Unlike today where men and women mix freely and there are endless opportunities to meet in order for love to blossom and end in marriage, in the late 19th and early 20th century such opportunities were limited owing to more restrictive norms and ideas of propriety that were pervasive in 19th century society; and many of these ideas persisted even into the late 20th century.
Romance Through the Ages
Ah, the Victorian Age… You may have thought being named after—and presided over by—a strong female monarch like Queen Victoria — might have done something to soften the naked masculinity of the time. This was the age of muscular Christianity, the age in which the western male came to dominate and subjugate through industry and empire; the age, in short, in which men were real men, women were real men; even the children were real men.
But brute masculinity was only one side of the coin. The Victorians were also romantics, albeit in a rigidly regulated way.
Forget Tinder, the dating games of yore were matching people up based on arbitrary factors centuries before the app starting doing that for us. Apples and nuts.
The rules and suggestions for courtship and romance occupy most of the space in Victorian etiquette and letter writing books. There are usually flowery forms for written proposals from the suitor as well as a plethora of gushing acceptances from the bride-elect. Near the end of the section there is generally one curt letter of refusal to a marriage proposal. Usually the tone of the letter is vague and contains assurances that the honored lady thanks the gentleman for his offer but she cannot accept his proposal.
The Victorian precept that a lady “never explains or complains” is followed rigidly. To readers today the index titles for these letters sound wildly humorous. Consider the titles “Refusal on the grounds of dislike”, “Refusal on the grounds of unsteadiness of the suitor”, and “Refusal on the grounds that the suitor is much younger than herself”. Upon careful thought, however, these letters can be seen to be sober testimony to the general tenor of society in the third quarter of nineteenth century America.
The Dating Traditions During the Victorian Period
Forget Tinder, the dating games of yore were matching people up based on arbitrary factors centuries before the app starting doing that for us. Apples and nuts factor heavily in these games which meant they were often played in the fall or winter. This makes sense because teenagers must have gotten restless spending so much during inside during the colder months.
Paying particular attention to matrimonial dating notices in the Victorian era, Phelgey puts a modern spin on the topic by referencing the surging.
People lived to an average age of just 40 in 19th-century England, but that number is deceiving. Certainly, infants and children died of disease, malnutrition and mishaps at much higher rates than they do today. But if a girl managed to survive to adulthood, her chance of living to a ripe old age of 50, 60, 70 or even older was quite good. These odds only increased as the century progressed and improvements in sanitation, nutrition and medical care lengthened Victorian lifespans.
At the end of the 18th century, the average age of first marriage was 28 years old for men and 26 years old for women. Patterns varied depending on social and economic class, of course, with working-class women tending to marry slightly older than their aristocratic counterparts. But the prevailing modern idea that all English ladies wed before leaving their teenage years is well off the mark. Marrying your first cousin was perfectly acceptable in the early s, and the practice certainly offered some benefits: Wealth and property were more likely to remain in the same hands, and it was easier for young women to meet and be courted by bachelors within the family circle.
Later in the 19th century, though, marriage between cousins became less common.
5 Things Victorian Women Didn’t Do (Much)
Victorian fashion comprises the various fashions and trends in British culture that emerged and developed in the United Kingdom and the British Empire throughout the Victorian era , roughly from the s through the s. The period saw many changes in fashion, including changes in styles, fashion technology and the methods of distribution.
Various movement in architecture, literature, and the decorative and visual arts as well as a changing perception of the traditional gender roles also influenced fashion. Under Queen Victoria ‘s reign, England enjoyed a period of growth along with technological advancement.
Dressing for dinner was the equivalent of getting ready for a hot date. Here are the ridiculous dating rules from the s. 19 /
Instead, access to the passage had remained hidden in plain sight for about 70 years. The passage, created for a procession to the 17th-century coronation banquet of Charles II, was then used for about years for other coronations and by lawmakers to gain access from the hall through to the original House of Commons chamber. Benjamin Franklin would also have passed through it on visits to the House of Commons during his time living in London. The passage leading through to Westminster Hall was blocked up on both sides in the midth century as part of renovation works after a fire in Parliament.
The route lay untouched for close to a century until it was found by workers carrying out repairs after the building was bombed in World War II. With the passing of time, the door was forgotten and historians thought that the s repair job had blocked access entirely. After a key was made to fit the keyhole, the team discovered that it led to a small room, inside which they found the original hinges for two wooden doors — 11 feet tall and 6 feet wide — that would have opened into Westminster Hall.
Rules of the Game: Love, courtship, marriage, sex and married life from the 19th century until 1939
British Broadcasting Corporation Home. It’s hard to imagine now, but at the beginning of the 19th century Christmas was hardly celebrated. Many businesses did not even consider it a holiday.
The Victorian period began on the 20th of June , when Princess Victoria became Queen at the age of She reigned as Queen of Great Britain for 64 years and seven months, until her death on the 22nd of January The latter part of the Victorian era coincides with the Belle Epoque era meaning beautiful era of mainland Europe and the Gilded Age of the United States. This was a period of prolonged peace and prosperity in the UK, with the standard of living increasing greatly.
Which lead to an increase in demand for luxury goods, such as jewellery which were now being mass-produced as part of the industrial revolution. She not only wore it but designed it and gave it as gifts throughout the British Empire. Although the Victorian Jewellery period spanned 64 years, it is divided into three sections, early, mid and late Victorian. Reflected the great romance between Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. With floral motifs of roses, pansies, daisies and forget-me-nots. This theme of nature and love was very popular during the early Victorian period.
Jewellery which contained a secret compartment, normally brooches or rings. Where also very popular and had a token of a loved one placed inside. Although the ultimate token of love in the Victorian period was acrostic jewels.
What You Had to Do to Hook Up in the Victorian Era
Victorian courtship and online dating may seem unrelated, but English Department Chair and Professor of English Language and Literature Jennifer Phegley has related the two together. Paying particular attention to matrimonial dating notices in the Victorian era, Phelgey puts a modern spin on the topic by referencing the surging popularity of dating websites like eHarmony and Match. As a result, people were matched based on how their profiles advertised themselves to the unknown public.
The model for this newly-developing marriage came from an unusual source, the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Courting the Victorian Woman. By Michelle J. Hoppe Until , the legal age in England for marriage was 21 years–for men and women. After , a male.
The shape of the dress changed significantly during the s, and the bustle was most distinguishing feature of the new 70s fashion. This high protuberance at the back of the skirt carried on the s trend toward flat fronts with extra material gathered in the back. The excess that characterized the Victorian era continued with increasing exuberance during the s.
Skirts and bodices boasted ruffles, trim, flounces, lace, and other frills, a number of different materials, and a variety of deep colors. The introduction of the bustle in the early s changed the shape of the entire dress, not just the back. The sides of the skirt were drawn further back, creating a narrower front.