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Archive for September, 2011

Dear Readers,

The Victorian period encompasses the reign of Queen Victoria from June 1837 till her death in January of 1901. During this time England experienced a period of peace, prosperity, and refined social etiquette.

The period was preceded by the Georgian/Regency period and succeeded by the Edwardian period. Culturally, England went from the rationalism of the Georgian period to romanticism of the Victorian period, which entailed an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that began in the second half of the 18th century.

England’s government consisted of the House of Commons and was headed by the two parties, the Whigs and the Tories. From the late 1850s onwards, the Whigs became the Liberals; and the Tories became the Conservatives.

Population increase was accompanied by swift urbanization that was inspired by the Industrial Revolution. A large numbers of people looking for work kept wages down to a level that was not conducive to proper living. Available housing was scarce and expensive resulting in overcrowding and a shortage of dwelling that eventually became slum housing.

England was also plagued by child labor and prostitution. Prostitutes were often presented as victims in sentimental literature. However, social stress on the purity of women found in literature, i.e., such works as Coventry Patmore’s The Angel in the House led to the portrayal of the prostitute as a woman who was dirty, tainted and dishonorable.  She became an outcast of society even though it was society who sought her services.

The emphasis on female purity was allied to the stress on the homemaking role of women―that included to provide an environment that was conducive and crucial for her family―specifically, one that was free from diseases and corruption. Prostitution at this point becomes an enigma in that it comes to symbolize the violation of the image of female purity.

We hope you enjoyed these bits of historical Victorian era facts.  We are looking forward to bringing you many Victorian romance author interviews and reviews of their novels.

Sincerely,

…Miguelina Perez

Source: Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia. The Victorian Era.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_era. 29 September 2011.

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