The Victorian era began in 1837 with the coronation of Queen Victoria. The Victorian era began England's age of industrial progress.
In 1838 author James Fenimore Cooper said "England stands at the head of modern civilization, as a whole, although many countries surpass her in particular parts. The higher tastes of England are not as refined and cultivated, perhaps, as those of Italy or France, but the base of society is infinitely more advanced."
For most Goths, the culture of the era is the predominantly interesting thing about it. Subjects such as Victorian entertainment, dress, etiquette, and architecture are among the most frequently replicated and admired features of the Victorian age.
The entertainment of the Victorian era varied greatly between the social classes. The people of the era were interested in the arts and theatre, and these events were largely attended by people of many classes. However theatre was by no means the only form of entertainment. Gambling at card houses became widely popular, and even became the major targets of the reform movements. The Brass Band or Bandstand also became a popular form of entertainment. One of the most fascinating forms of entertainment came in the form of paranormal spectacles, such as seances and hypnotism.
One of the most inportant ifluences on today's Gothic culture was Victorian fashion, which was characterized by corsets, bloomers and elaborate ball gowns. The clothing of the Victorian era is assumed by many to be prudish and restrictive, but in reality was rather revealing and meant to accentuate a woman's figure.
Also born out of the Victorian era were the Pre-Raphaelites. The Pre-Raphaelites were a society of painters, poets, and critics founded in 1848 by William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Dante Gabriel Rosetti. The Rosette siblings had great influence over the poetry and art of the later Victorian era.
Part Two coming soon.