Life in the Late Victorian Age Society in the time of Oscar Wilde Mr. Ambrose English 10
Victorian Life Victorian life was relatively structured. Social classes were well-defined. –Presumably all individuals accepted their station in life and were happy within their level of society. –When an individual did move outside his/her class, he/she was generally shunned. –Even if you earned money, you would not necessarily be accepted by upper social strata.
Victorian Society Victorian society was democratic, but featured many more restrictions than modern America. Lower classes actually had more freedom. –People perceived the lower class as merely existing to serve higher classes. –Society frequently ignored them.
Young Men in the Victorian Age Young men in the upper classes received an education, but spent much of their life in leisure pursuits. First sons would inherit the family wealth, and had little to worry about. Second and subsequent sons could choose to go into the service (army) or to become a clergyman. –These were respectable positions, but lower on the social scale.
Young Women in the Victorian Age They were encouraged to marry. Sometimes had an inheritance, but rarely controlled their own finances. Ladies were permitted to enjoy pleasurable pursuits: parties, balls (galas), horseback riding, croquet. They were allowed to go to the beach, but they would need to wear very conservative bathing suits…
Young Girls in the Victorian Age Young girls were taught to supervise a household. Daily routine included consulting with housekeeper and cook and planning meals. Free time activities: –Painting china, needlework, music, literature
Four O’Clock Tea Time A daily routine that became a tradition. Everyone stopped all activities for tea time. –Analogous to a siesta in Europe, South America, and Central America. Tea was usually poured from a silver or china tea pot. Sandwiches and sweets (biscuits, tarts) were served. An important social interruption. Dinner was not usually served until 8:00 pm.
Tea Time in America Do you believe a tradition like this would have any place or advantage in contemporary America? Is tea time observed anywhere on this continent? Do Americans have a substitute for this custom?
Host your own Tea Time For extra credit, you can host your own tea time! Bring in a photo and a short description of your event. Good times!
Evening Entertainment In the evening, people during the Victorian era usually watched Family Guy on their televisions.
Evening Entertainment J/K Evenings included a formal dinner (8 PM). Families then might move into the Drawing Room to enjoy musical entertainment, provided by younger girls in the family. Gentlemen might retire to play billiards. On festive occasions, families might play games or have dances at the country estate.
Homes in the Victorian Era Some members of the upper class kept an apartment “in town” (London) If they did not own there, they rented during the “season” so that the young girls could be presented to society and the young men could find brides. These apartments would be called “flats,” which is the English word for “floor.”
After the Victorian Era For the upper classes, this style of living continued until WWII. After WWII, social structures underwent great changes and the balance of power among nations shifted. Despite changes in home life and industry, the Victorian tradition of tea time can still be enjoyed in homes, hotels, and parks.