About This Blogsite

I have had to do a lot of research into the Victorian Age to write Dr. Wendell Howe's Twitter site and to write my novels. A lot of people following me are also interested in Victorian research for a book they are writing, but also for steampunk costuming, etc. So when I run across a great site I will post it here. If you find something, feel free to let me know in the comments, or contact me on Twitter at @Scablander or email me at Jeanette@scablander.com.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Victorian Web

It doesn't look like much when you go to the home page. Just start clicking on icons and start digging. This unpretentious site is probably the oldest and one of the largest on Victorian culture and history. In fact it's older than the internet! It started out as part of Brown University's Intermedia Project begun by Professor George P. Landow. In 1992 when Intermedia ceased it was transferred to Eastgate Systems Storyspace. In 1995 it was translated to HTML. From it's beginnings hundreds of scholars have added to the content. There are links to other sites, but much of it is essays and scans for this site alone. Just about everything is covered here.

Link to: The Victorian Web

Bonus! On the page on how to contribute to this web are hints for students to strengthen their writing. It's spelt out instead of alluded to like too many books and sites do. Some Easy Ways to Strengthen Your Writing

El Centro History Department Website

This is a Gold Mine--and I mean that in the literal sense. It's very easy to get lost in this labyrinth and sometimes difficult to find your way back, but oh, there are some real nuggets here.

These are link pages created by the El Centro College of Dallas, Texas to give students further reading in the History 1301 (to 1877)and History 1302 (after 1877) classes. The courses focus on Texas, but cover much of American history and culture. Below I've put in links to the useful pages for the 19th century.

Industrial Age to 1877 / Civil War / Reconstruction / The Year 1877 / Late 19th Century /
The South 1877-1900 / The West to 1900 / Native American / African American

There are all sorts of links here to numerous to list. Go ahead and explore.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Quack Doctor

A collection of medical advertisements from 18th and 19th century newspapers and periodicals. We can laugh at these "cures" now, but this was orthodox medicine in their day.

Beyond being entertaining, these can make nice details for a novel--which is how this site got started. Caroline Rance is a writer with an interest in the history of medicine. Her first novel Kill-Grief is set in a 1750s hospital.

To make things easier for you, the blogs are not only listed by post-date, but by malady. So if your hero gets a toothache, you'll know exactly what was available in his time. You might want to think twice if using any of theis "wisdom" on yourself. There's a reason these products aren't around any more.

Link to Quack Doctor

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Virtual Victorian

This site may not be the encyclopedia on all things Victorian that some other sites are, but then it wasn't meant to be. This is a blog-site created by author Essie Fox of London, where she writes short essays on little known subjects of Victorian life.

I'll let Essie describe it in her own words:

"A few years ago I decided to try and write a novel. My story was going to be contemporary but I wanted to use my own home as a setting and, while looking into its history, I soon found myself lured into a virtual Victorian world...from which I have yet to break free.

In this blog, I'm hoping to share some of the facts and fictions that I've discovered during my research. Some will be serious, some less so, but most will be based on, and in, the Victorian era - a fascinating age which often still influences the way we live today."

Where else on the web could you learn about Queen Victoria's bloomers, the Victorian obsession for taxidermy, or Champagne Charlie?

Link to The Virtual Victorian

Monday, November 2, 2009

Arthur LLoyd Website

Arthur Lloyd was an actor, singer, comedian, song writer and music hall performer who lived from 1839 - 1904. He was very famous in his day, but like most Victorian entertainers he is largely forgotten. Since 2001, his great grandson, Matthew Lloyd, has been trying to rectify that by creating a massive website dedicated to him.

If you are doing anything involving Victorian theaters or Music Halls, go here first! This site has over 2,000 pages and 5,000 images on their history. There are photos, programs, songs and posters. Think of it, your character could go to a Music Hall on a particular night and you now know what it looked like, and who was playing there.

The site also has period maps and a timeline that tells what else was going on in a particular year.

Link to: arthurlloyd.co.uk

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Gentleman's Page

Unfortunately most websites on the Victorian male are tongue in cheek. This one is a serious, well researched site. Created by Walter Nelson, the Gentleman's Page is dedicated to the "proper behavior and attire for the 19th Century American Man," and focuses on 1860 to 1900. He also has a collection of vintage photographs he has scanned and posted. The site was created with costumers, performers, and reenactors in mind, so he does go into detail.

Hey, Walter actually does this for a living! (Yes, that's Walter Nelson on the left.) He works with museums, schools, historical societies, etc. and has provided historical expertise to the History Channel, A&E, Showtime and Disney. Here is a segment Walter Nelson did for Pen & Teller's show. Victorian Etiquette

I wonder if Walter knows that he helped "train" Wendell for his work as a Temporal Anthropologist in the Victorian Age?

Link to: The Gentleman's Page

Averyl's Attic

This site is a grab bag of Victorian life, etiquette, fashion, dining, art, and poetry. Many of the posts being reprints of period articles.

This website was created by Hillstock, LLC, which sells vintage stock images and greeting cards. Averyl's Attic also has free Victorian electronic clip-art for private, non commercial use. That's one of them to the left. You can use up to three on a blog site, provided you let people know where it came from.

Link to Averyl's Attic

The Victorian Era

I'll let Geerte tell you about her blog site in her own words:

My name is Geerte, and I have been writing this blog for a while now, because I think all the fun and interesting things about the nineteenth century are too good not to share! Many people still the nineteenth century was boring, prudish, or uptight. While there is a bit of truth in it, there are many funny, silly and interesting things as well. I hope to give you a taste of them through my articles.

On this blog you will find some light reading and fun facts about the 19th century. I like to find the more unusual information because I think that all info on Impressionism or steam engines can be found elsewhere. I also talk about books a lot, mostly because that is something I really like. Apart from that, this blog features pictures, famous Victorians, art, architecture, music, literature, and fashion, and movies.

Link to: The Victorian Era

Victorian History

Bruce Rosen has been posting essays on Victorian history and society since September 2006 and has a huge collection on just about everything. His well written essays include pictures and links to historic sources.

In his own words "These short essays are based on more extensive research and are usually extracts from longer pieces." I'm not sure who this mysterious Bruce Rosen is, but I'm betting he's a professional historian--or should be. If the man lived in the 27th Century, he would definitely be a candidate for Temporal Anthropologist--or at least a close friend of Dr. Wendell Howe.

Link to Victorian History

Victorian Women

If you want to know what the Victorian Woman was reading, check out Billie Jane's blog, Victorian Women. She owns a large collection of Victorian periodicals and uploads samples from them. She is currently posting a romantic serial, but already has many non-fiction articles and news stories posted. To the side she has the entries filed by decades. Jane also takes requests if you are interested in a particular topic.

Link to her site: Victorian Women

Friday, October 30, 2009

Charles Booth Online Archive

All right, you are writing a historic romance set in late Victorian London. Middle class girl is in love with poor boy but dad wants her to marry wealthy guy. Now, exactly where does everyone live?

In 1898-99 Charles Booth did a survey of London showing exactly where all the economic classes lived. It divided London into seven classes, from the very wealthy to the worst slums. Below the 1899 map is a modern map so you can compare the two. (Modern map does not show economic state, just what is there now.)

Click on the little map on the left to pinpoint a particular neighborhood. You may not be able to read street names easily, but it does give enough reference to find it on a modern map.

Now you don't have to guess, or steal a street out of a Victorian novel everyone else has used. Or worse go by what is there today. Some of those posh neighborhoods are no longer posh, and some neighborhoods have gone the opposite direction!

Link to: Booth Poverty Map & Modern Map

The Victorian Dictionary

Created by writer Lee Jackson this is a Gold Mine! Although focusing on London it is probably the best site out there on Victorian culture. Much of it is original documents! Great place to also get place names to drop. He covers about every topic and is constantly adding to this collection. He also has a large collection of "penny dreadfuls" and Punch cartoons.

Lee Jackson has also published a book of this site, as well as some mystery novels set in...well, you guessed it. Haven't read them yet, but I'm sure the man knows his subject very well!

This is the first place I head when I need to know details on the day to day life of the Victorians.

Link to: The Victorian Dictionary
Link to Lee's blog site with updates and additions: The Cat's Meat Shop. Lee describes this as an appendix to the website.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Internet Archive

I love this site! It has free sources from around the world of out-of-print books, audio and film. Most books printed in the Victorian Age are out-of-print. Try various searches and see what comes up. You never know what you will find here.

What I do is click on text at the far right. Type in the author, title or subject. A list of books will come up. Some will give date in description, some won't. Click on one that looks interesting. I click the top option "read online" and then find the date the book was published to see how useful it will be. Some files are just text but most are pdfs. If there is more than one source of the same book, I like to see which pdf looks best. Go back to your format choices and download your book.

There is more than just novels here. They have everything! There are guidebooks, pamphlets, how to books, law tracts, magazines (including The Strand), programs, etc. You would be amazed at what you can find here.

They also have old films, recordings, and books on tape (most read by volunteers, some good, some dreadful, so you might want to try a sample before downloading). Now you can have someone read you that Victorian novel you always wanted to read, while you drive.

Link to: Internet Archive