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The Victorian Era

General History

'The long nineteenth century', as defined by Hobsbawn, stretched from the French Revolution of 1789 to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.

A time of immense change, this period shaped the world as we know it. At its heart was the Industrial Revolution, which spurred change in all areas of life. From Darwin to Dickens, Brunel to the Boer war, the people and events transformed society and laid the foundations for the innovations of the twentieth century.

In this selection you'll find titles which document the Crimean and Boer Wars; lurid accounts of the Victorian underworld; biographies of pre-eminant figures; and many more.


Quizzes

Queen Victoria 1819 - 1901

Queen Victoria, the longest reigning Queen until September 2015, was born May 24, 1819 and became Queen in June 1937. Think you know all there is about Queen Victoria and her years as queen? Try our anniversary quiz!

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The Victorian Guide to Sex

An exciting factual romp through sexual desire, practises and deviance in the Victorian era. The Victorian Guide to Sex will reveal advice and ideas on sexuality from the Victorian period. Drawing on both satirical and real life events from the period, it explores every facet of sexuality that the Victorians encountered. Reproducing original advertisements… Read more...

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British Music Hall

'The music hall ...had no place for reticence; it was downright, it shouted, it made noise, it enjoyed itself and made the people enjoy themselves as well.' W.J. MACQUEEN POPE Music Hall lies at the root of all modern popular entertainment. With stars such as Marie Lloyd, Harry Lauder and Dan Leno, it reached its glorious, brassy height between 1890… Read more...

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The Real Sherlock Holmes

On 6 December 1886, Arthur Foster leaves the Queen's Theatre, Manchester with a pocket full of gold and a lady bedecked with diamonds on his arm. He hails a hansom cab unaware that a detective has been trailing him as he crisscrossed the streets of the city. As the cab pulls away, the detective slips inside and arrests the infamous 'Birmingham Forger.'… Read more...

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The Sinking of RMS Tayleur

'The moment they fell into the water the waves caught them and dashed them violently against the rocks, and the survivors on shore could perceive the unfortunate creatures...struggling amidst the waves, and one by one sinking under them.' (Hereford Times, 28 January 1854) The wrecking of the RMS Tayleur made headlines nearly 60 years before the Titanic.… Read more...

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Breach of Promise to Marry

'The marriage day was fixed, the wedding dresses were bought, the wedding tour was planned out, the wedding guests were invited. The day came but not the bridegroom...' While Dickens' embittered spinster Miss Havisham stopped all her clocks on her wedding day and 'never since looked upon the light of day', the reality was much brighter for thousands… Read more...

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The Wedding Feast War

The last of the nine Frontier Wars fought between 1799–1877 was in many ways a 'prequel' to the more famous Zulu War of 1879, featuring as it did many of the British regiments and personalities who were to fight at Isandlwana, as well as being the final defeat of the Xhosa people and their reduction to lowly workers for the colonists. This war saw… Read more...

Jack the Ripper: Quest for a Killer

Jack the Ripper: Quest for a Killer - True Crime Book For a hundred and twenty years, the identity of the Whitechapel murderer known to us as Jack the Ripper has both eluded us and spawned a veritable industry of speculation. This book names him. Mad doctors, Russian lunatics, bungling midwives, railway policemen, failed barristers, weird artists,… Read more...