Victorians

The Victorian period in Britain was one of huge industrial and technological change, shocking divisions between rich and poor, sensational crimes, spectacular entertainments for the masses, and grand attempts to combat squalor and disease. Discover Victorian life through the posters, pamphlets, diaries, newspapers, political reports and illustrations that the 19th century left behind...

Written by Liza Picard

The Working Classes & The poor

The Working Classes and The Poor

Street sellers, omnibus drivers, mudlarks, the workhouse and prostitution, the poor were forced to survive in any way that they could...

 
The Middle Class

The Middle Class

Bank clerks, housewives shopping, magazine readers and holiday makers: all members of the Victorian middle class...

 

Popular Culture

No matter how poor people were, they could usually raise a penny or so for the music hall, circus or magic show...

 
Technology

The rise of technology and industry

From telephones and photographs to factories and coalmines, life across the social scale was revolutionised by technological change...

 
Transport & Communication

Transport and Communications

New technologies in transport and communication transformed the Western world, producing new opportunities for commerce and travel, and fuelling industrial and economic expansion...

 
Crime

Crime

The police force was still in its early years and executions were a public source of entertainment. Serial killers were reported as tabloid drama...

 
The Great Exhibtion

The Great Exhibition

Crystal Palace in London's Hyde Park displayed miles of products from around the world, and attracted millions of visitors...

 

Health

The middle classes lived, on average, to 45 and the working classes much less. Find out about the diseases, treatments and 'cures' which often resulted in such early deaths...

 
The Built Environment

The Built Environment

In 1837 there were just five cities outside London with populations of over 100,000; by 1891 this number had grown to 23. The built environment was growing rapidly...

 
Education

Education

In an increasingly complicated world, the chances for an illiterate boy or girl were slim. Some education was available, but provision of elementary schooling wasn't compulsory until 1880...