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History, Victorian Style

Victorian magazines abounded with articles on history, both recent (as in "When I was Young" and of the distant past.

See also: Archaeology & Antiquities · Historic People (pre-Victorian historic figures) · Historic British Royalty · How It Was Made · Objects, Antiquities & Curiosities


Curiosities of Court Receptions, by the Hon. Mrs. Armitage (GOP 1883)
Domestic Changes of the Last 50 Years (GOP 1887)
"For example, what an immensity of time and toil is saved by the sewing machine, an instrument unknown a few years ago! A whole host of useful things are produced from...indiarubber. Even in so small a matter as striking a light, what a contrast in the safety match to the old tinderbox or phosphorus bottle of fifty years ago!"
Old Court Customs, by the Hon. Mrs. Armitage (GOP 1882)
Old customs that were still in practice in Victorian days.
When I Was a Girl (GOP 1880)
"When I was a girl, we wore our frocks off our shoulders and our arms bare...'Keep your shoulder in your frock!' was the constant admonition; those unfortunate shoulders had such a habit of pushing off the top of the dress." A lovely look back at life in the early 1800's.
When I Was a Girl, by Fairleigh Owen (GOP 1882)
"People get used to things unfortunately, and to hear a helpless little sweep being sworn at by a brutal master, to know that the terrible cruelty of even lighting straw beneath them was no unusual force them up a chimney--these things were such common matters then, the mass of the people did not think about them."


The Builders of the Bridge, by Mrs. G. Linnaeus Banks (GOP 1887)
A somewhat fictionalized account of the building of Swarkstone Bridge in the 13th century.
Century-Ends/Where Centuries Meet, by Clotilda Marson (GOP 1900)
A look back at other century endings.
Curiosities of Food and Feeding, by James Mason (GOP 1890)
Subtitled "Chit-Chat, Historical, Anecdotal, Grave and Gay -- About Meats, Drinks, Cooks and Kitchens." Includes gossip about historic meals and dinner parties.
Domesday Book, by Emma Brewer (GOP 1886)
1886 marked the 800th anniversary of the completion of the Domesday Book, "the first statistical document of Modern Europe."
England's Musical Past (GOP 1896)
Eyam and Its Memorable Woe, by H.W. Brewer (GOP 1889)
How one town handled the Black Death.
The History of the Home, or, Domestic Ways Since the Times of Henry VIII, by Nanette Mason (GOP 1887)
Amongst other fascinating tidbits are some delightful riddles from the 16th century!
Old English Trees and What They Have Seen, by Anna Buckland (GOP 1884)
Histories of the Burnham Beeches, the Glastonbury Thorn, and Wycliffe's Oak.
One Day in the Life of a 15th Century Maiden (GOP 1902)
Reputed to be extracts from the diary of Elizabeth Woodville.
A Romance in the Ducal House of Athole, by Edward Walford (GOP 1890)
How William de Moray won the hand of a lady by capturing and shackling a giant "wild man" of the woods.
Romance of the Earldom of Stirling, by Edward Walford (GOP 1892)
Three Worthies of Bettws-y-Coed, by Edward Walford (GOP 1889)


Domestic Life in Classic Times: Women of Greece, by E.F. Bridell-Fox (GOP 1887)
Domestic Life in Classic Times: Women of Rome, by E.F. Bridell-Fox (GOP 1887)
Perpetua and Felicitas (GOP 1891)
The (rather romanticized) tale of two women martyred in Carthage in AD 204.


The Founding of Kempten, by the Baroness van Gilta (GOP 1883)
On the founding of a hospice for the rescue of travelers in the Tyrol (something like the St. Bernard monastery).
The Three Citizen Brides of Augsburg (GOP 1889)
"A Very Ancient City and Three Fair Brides" (GOP 1895)
The Augsburg brides.


See the American section.


A Girl's Own Paper 360 Years Ago (GOP 1883)
A translation of an Aztec mother's advice to her daughter.
The Great Java Eruption, by Lady Mary Wood (GOP 1893)


This section offers articles that are "roundups" of women in history, such as "women warriors." For articles on individual women, see the sections on Noteworthy Victorians and Historical People (as well as, of course, the Royalty section for historic queens and princesses around the world).

Famous Women Artists of the World, by W. Shaw Sparrow (GOP 1894)
The Glee Maidens, by J.F. Rowbotham (GOP 1892)
Female wandering minstrels of the 11th century.
The Ladies of the Olden Times, by S.F.A. Caulfield (GOP 1889)
A look at women's roles in history.
Women and Girls as Inventors and Discoverers, by S.F.A. Caulfield (GOP 1895)
Women Soldiers, by Laura Alex. Smith (GOP 1894)
Warrior women of history.

Copyright © 2018 by
Moira Allen.
All rights reserved.

Magazine Abbreviations:
CFM = Cassell's Family Magazine GOP = Girl's Own Paper ILA = Illustrated London Almanack S = The Strand
AM = Atlantic Monthly C = Century Magazine D = Demorest's Monthly Magazine G = Godey's Lady's Book H = Harper's Monthly
Find out more about the magazines used on this site!
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