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Not So Virtuous Victorians (Paperback)

British History Social History Victorian Era 19th Century

By Michelle Rosenberg
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 112
Illustrations: 50 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526700919
Published: 2nd February 2022



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What springs to mind when you think of British Victorian men and women? – manners, manners and more manners. Behaviour that was as rigid and constricted as the corsets women wore. From iron-knicker sexual prudery to men so uptight they furtively released their pent up emotions in opium dens and prostitute hot spots. All, of course, exaggerated clichés worthy of a Victorian melodrama.

Each generation loves to think it is better than the last and loves to look aghast at the horrifying trends of their ancestors. But are we really any different? This glimpse at life for Victorian men and women might make millennials think again.

Men and women were expected to live very differently from one another with clearly defined roles regardless of class. However, lift the skirts a little and not only will you see that they didn’t wear knickers but they were far less repressed than the persistent stereotypes would have us believe. The Victorians were as weird and wonderful as we are today.

From fatal beauty tips to truly hysterical cures for hysteria to grave robbers playing skittles with human bones, we have cherry picked some of the more entertaining glimpses into the lives led by our Victorian brothers and sisters.

As featured in

Hertfordshire Life

This is a small book that looks at alternative little bits of life in Victorian Britain, looking at Child Labour, Sex & Perversion, Hidden Sexualities and Fashion Victims. The chapters are small but the book entertaining, good and quite humorous in places. Maybe a book for people wanting to start getting into learning about the Victorian era.

Read the full review here

The History Fella

As featured in

Yorkshire Reporter

It would be suitable for the general reader who wants a quick and easy window into some of the less savoury aspects of Victorian life, and is well-illustrated. The text is well-referenced, and together with a useful bibliography gives a very good starting point for anyone wishing to look more deeply into the subjects and people that are covered.

Family and Community Historical Research Society

About Michelle Rosenberg

Michelle Rosenberg is a writer and passionate women’s historian with a great fondness for her two daughters, bawdy humour and inappropriate language (in that order). She lives in Hertfordshire with her family, two overweight Spaniels and ever-growing book collection.

Perfect Partner

Sex and Sexuality in Victorian Britain (Hardback)

Peek beneath the bedsheets of nineteenth-century Britain in this affectionate, informative and fascinating look at sex and sexuality during the reign of Queen Victoria. It examines the prevailing attitudes towards male and female sexual behaviour, and the ways in which these attitudes were often determined by those in positions of power and authority. It also explores our ancestors’ ingenious, surprising, bizarre and often entertaining solutions to the challenges associated with maintaining a healthy sex life. Did the people in Victorian times live up to their stereotypes when it came to sexual…

By Violet Fenn

Click here to buy both titles for £32.98
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