Period of Queen Victorias reign: 1837-1901.
The term "Victorian" refers to the typical life-style in Great-Britain in
this period, which was thoroughly supported by the Queen herself. During her life already
Queen Victoria had become the symbol of progress and power in the British Empire.
Elements of Victorian attitude are conservatism, self-complacency, good manners,
dead seriousness without a glimpse of humour. The wealthy middle class set the tune:
devoutness and modesty were virtues expected from everyone. Sexuality was to be publicly
ignored. The result was omnipresent hypocrisy and the flourishing of secret pornography.
Typical are double sexual morals, different for men and women.
The bourgeoisies wealth depicted itself in the "Victorian Style":
colossal neo-classical buildings with a lot of wrought ironwork.
The Victorian Era is characterized by turbulent economic developments (Industrial
Revolution), which, combined with the colonization policy, made the British Empire the
mightiest nation in the then world. Irrational behaviour was loathed, emotions banned,
pragmatism favoured, discipline enforced. These were psychologic preconditions to
maintaining and strengthening the position of the economically most thriving: employers,
factory-owners and merchandisers, who had become rich in a very brief period of time.
(Abridged from J. Harrison, Late Victorian Britain, 1991)