Ah, what a joy it would have been to live in an era of richness and vibrancy (minus the rampant killings of Jack the Ripper, and the outbreak of Tuberculosis, that is). From living in a period where Royalty ruled the country, to other new and prominent discoveries of life and all its joys, the Victorian era is one for the books. After this article, Queen Victoria won’t be the only Victorian you’ll remember.
Here are 10 amazing facts about those famous Victorians:
Fact 1: Anthony Ashley Cooper, the eldest son of the 6th Earl of Shaftesbury, was known as Lord Shaftesbury and was a politician who improved children’s lives during the Victorian times. He began to take an interest in the plight of poor children after reading newspaper reports about labor in industry. The Factory Act was implemented, and it became illegal for children under the age of 9 to work. He also backed the 1842 Coal Mines Act, wherein no child or woman should work underground. He was chairman of the Ragged Schools Union – an organization that set up over a hundred schools for poor children. Bravo.
Fact 2: One of the most famous names in history, Queen Victoria! The longest reigning monarch in all of Great Britain, and is fondly known as the Grandmother of Britain. She married her first cousin Prince Albert, and had 9 children with him. All their children married in to European Royal families. She hated the pain of giving birth, and often took Chloroform to deal with the pain.
Fact 3: Queen Victoria loved art, as well as her husband, very dearly. On birthdays and anniversaries she would paint him nude portraits of women. When he passed, she was devastated, and only wore black from that day forward, living in a state of permanent mourning.
Fact 4: Jack the Ripper was the name given to the infamous, terrifying, and unidentified serial killer who murdered women of questionable morals in the Whitechapel district of London back in 1888, leaving Victorians frightened and enraged.
Fact 5: Queen Victoria and Prince Albert have been attacked by assassins 7 times, and on one occasion, Albert had pushed the Queen out of a bullet headed right towards her head!
Fact 6: Charles Dickens has written some of the most popular and widely read novels of the 19th century, with classics such as Oliver Twist, to A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations a;; under his belt. He fathered 10 children and died of a stroke in 1870.
Fact 7: Alexander Graham Bell is best known for his invention of the telephone.
Fact 8: A great number of marvelous authors whose works have been celebrated throughout the generations are Victorian! Victorian novelists, as well as poets included; Matthew Arnold, Emily, Anne and Charlotte Bronte, Christina Rossetti, Robert Browning, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker, Alfred Lord Tennyson, William Thackeray, Anthony Trollope, Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll and H. G. Wells
Fact 9: The most famous and reputable Victorian statesmen and politicians included Sir Robert Peel, Lord Melbourne, Lord Derby, Lord Palmerston, William Gladstone, Benjamin Disraeli, as well as Lord Salisbury.
Fact 10: Charles Darwin, a historic figure in Science, and presumed Father of Evolution, was Victorian. An expert of plant and animal life, he rose to fame when he pieced together the evolution theory, which centered on the belief that humans evolved from primates. During his later years, he then wished to refute all earlier claims and studies.