Yes, today is Queen Victoria’s birthday. She was born in 1819, the daughter of Edward, Duke of Kent, and Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield. Apparently the Prince Regent threw a hissy fit about her christening because he didn’t like his brother and was upset, since the death of Princess Charlotte, that one of the Duke’s children might succeed him. So she wasn’t given one of the “traditional” family names–Charlotte, Elizabeth, Georgina or Augusta–and the Prince Regent decided she should be called Alexandrina Victoria (the Alexandrina in deference to her godfather by proxy, Russian Tsar Alexander). Victoria came to the throne in 1837 and ruled until her death in 1901.

Now the history lecture is over, I want you to take out your notebooks and…

Sometimes it seems that the Victorian and Regency ages overlap and sometimes they seem poles apart. Fashions changed radically. So did attitudes–or did they? The Regency era had the great infrastructure of the Royal Mail, and then a few decades later the railway changed the countryside and people’s perceptions of time and distance. The Victorians were prudes but Bowdler was busy cleaning up Shakespeare in the Regency.

What comes to your mind when you think of the Victorian Age? What do you like about the Victorian era that wasn’t around during the Regency?


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