Posted by John W on April 18, 1998 at 15:51:15:
In response to QV, written by Jenna on April 14, 1998 at 09:04:53
] Dear JW,
] You were mistaken to assume that I believe Queen Victoria to be a "prude"--by no means. I was just curious to see what others thought about the social constraints that came about in her reign and how, if they'd been different, society today would be. You did a wonderful job in explaining the role the middle class played in the backlash against the previous monarchs (I had no idea). It must have been trying, indeed, for the first queen in a long while to tackle such ignominy within the crown, and lose one so dear to her as Albert.
] Thank you for your input. I haven't studied the Victorian era much (I've been too enthralled with the Regency), but if you have any 'must see' resources to recommend, I would be eternally grateful.
John W: Sorry, I am rather fond of old Vic. One factor I feel is underestimated is the essential novelty of the process whicc Britain went trhrough during her reign. Industialisation of a whole society was a wholly new phenomenon in the form it took--one fact which sticks in my mind is the adoption for the first time of a time system which was the same across Britain. We areuused to the process of technical change, it was a novelty for the Victorians. I think their achievements outweigh their failures, and anm extremely when ignorant Philistines such as Mrs Thatcher saddle the Victorians with responsibility for their own mean-minded cruelty. There is of course an enormous bibliography on Victorian England, but I think the flavour is best gained from something like the 'Industrial Biographies' of Samuel Smiles. These capture the nievete , the hard work and the pride in achievement of some of themen who created the modern world in the most fundamental sense.
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