Discover historical sources and articles written by experts that reveal the everyday reality of living in Victorian Britain. 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.

Articles

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Health and hygiene in the 19th century

In a time when diseases like smallpox, cholera and TB were insatiable and continued to relapse in epidemical waves, Liza Picard explores how medical pioneers and health innovations shaped the landscape of medicine in the 19th century.

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Victorian prisons and punishments

Victorian citizens were worried about the rising crime rate. Liza Picard considers how this concern brought about changes in the way people were caught, arrested and imprisoned.

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The rise of technology and industry

Liza Picard considers how the development of technology and industry affected all areas of 19th-century life and work.

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Travel, transport and communications

During Queen Victoria’s reign Britain was the most powerful trading nation in the world. In this article, Liza Picard explains how Victorian advances in transport and communications sparked a social, cultural and economic revolution whose effects are still evident today.

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Popular culture

From music halls and waxworks to freak shows and pleasure gardens, Liza Picard looks at the variety of popular entertainment available in the 19th century.

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