The Victorian period was all about contradictions. Victorians cheered for the railroad boom but fretted about railway madness. They surrounded themselves with death by adorning their outfits with bird corpses but tried to escape their own mortality with "safety coffins. Men auctioned off their wives at the market one day and then insisted that women preserve their modesty at the beach by hiding in "bathing machines" on the next day. Makeup was denounced as tacky but arsenic skincare products were advertised as "perfectly harmless. The Victorian era facts in the gallery above paint a very different picture of the time period than the one usually seen in history books.
Victorian Era Timeline
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Where would we be without romance? What was courtship and marriage like for our distant ancestors? Beginning with the ancient Greeks' recognition of the need to describe more than one kind of love, inventing the word eros to describe carnal love, and agape to mean a spiritual love, take a stroll back through romantic heritage with this timeline of romantic customs, dating rituals, and tokens of love. In ancient times, many of the first marriages were by capture, not choice — when there was a scarcity of nubile women, men raided other villages for wives. Frequently the tribe from which a warrior stole a bride would come looking for her, and it was necessary for the warrior and his new wife to go into hiding to avoid being discovered. According to an old French custom, as the moon went through all its phases the couple drank a brew called metheglin, which was made from honey. Hence, we get the word, honeymoon.
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The period spans between and Although no one knows the exact end date of the era, its legacy lives on, and we can see evidence of it in many things such as furniture, culture, traditions, and customs. It was during the Victorian Era that men and women upheld high standards of morals. Both genders behaved with modesty and complied with rules of etiquette, especially those who belonged to the upper echelons of society. It is noted that people of lower financial status were much more liberal than the upper class.
And for good reason — for centuries, strategically planned marriages allowed the wealthy and elite to retain their social standing, property and family businesses for generations. Marrying for love was pure fantasy and relegated to works of popular fiction. Respectable behavior and strict courtship rituals were the hallmarks of Victorian romance.