Queen Victoria’s reign signified the longest single rule of one monarch throughout the history of England. “British history is two thousand years old,” Twain observed, “and yet in a good many ways the world has moved father ahead since the Queen was born then it moved in all the rest of the two thousand put together.” Victoria—earnest, morally inclined, fond of domestic proprietorship—mirrored the concepts associated with the time period itself. Under her eloquent leadership, The Victorian Era, following the span of her reign from 1837-1901, was born. The era as whole experienced drastic cultural shifts; sporting a chameleon of identities. The Early Victorians signified despair, hopelessness, and a smatter of tired souls, but was followed by “calm and prosperity”—the Mid-Victorians. Stemming the river of Victoria’s reign were the years of hollow beauty, aptly entitled the “Age of Aesthetics.” These three stages of development congregated under the shadow of the woman who served monarch, and motherly-figure to their duration and, collectively, The Victorian Era.
Referred to as “A Time of Troubles,” the Early Victorians began with a foreboding precursor: industrialization. The grand opening of a railway between Liverpool and Manchester catalyzed England’s transformation from a landscape of widely dispersed towns, to that of a bustling enterprise, newly awakened by the scent of pungent manufacturing. This ‘scent’ was accompanied by the ever-present murmur of an unhappy, discontented working class. But labor discontent was not the only blight England suffered. The Irish Potato Famine, the worst famine in Europe during the 19th century, killed off half of the Irish population, primarily the rural poor. “Time of Troub...
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