The Victorian period formally begins in 1837 (the year Victoria became Queen) and ends in 1901 (the year of her death). It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self- confidence for Britain. The common perception of the period is the Victorians are “prudish, hypocritical, stuffy and arrow minded” (Murfin 496)
Victorian commercial printed matter was characterized by the era’s pervasive ornamentation and careless craftsmanship. If a compositor lacked a lower-case g, for example, he would not hesitate to use an upside-down b in its place. Sometimes however, a merchant’s demand for distinctive announcements did result in truly original display faces, composed of odd, and even ingenious woodblock letters.