Anna Sewell (Black Beauty) & other writers appreciated too late

Yesterday I tweeted a short piece on Anna Sewell (1820-78), author of Black Beauty on the anniversary of her death. She was an English novelist, the author of Black Beauty. Born in Norfolk, England into a devout Quaker family. “It is good people who make good places.” It would be impossible for most people to read about Anna Sewell’s struggle to write Black Beauty without being … Continue reading Anna Sewell (Black Beauty) & other writers appreciated too late

Book review: The Disintegration Machine by Arthur Conan Doyle

Book review – The Disintegration Machine by Arthur Conan Doyle (Professor Challenger #5). 1929. Regular readers of The Long Victorian blog will have observed that I am an enthusiastic reader of thumping good yarns. Not only does this sort of writing bring happiness to many, they are much harder to write than most suppose. Try it yourself. Easy reading, is hard writing. Authors capable in … Continue reading Book review: The Disintegration Machine by Arthur Conan Doyle

Proof we all have Victorian doppelgangers – spooky!

This is supposed to be a fun post, not serious research. However it is based on something that I’m interested in, the idea of the doppelganger (a ghostly double). See my previous post, ‘Rossetti and the doppelgängers’. Every now and then, when looking at Long Victorian photographs and paintings, I see a face that immediately makes me think of another person known to me today. … Continue reading Proof we all have Victorian doppelgangers – spooky!

Rossetti and the doppelgangers

A topic that I have been interested in for some time is the idea of the doppelgänger. And I’m not the only person to be intrigued by the notion of a mysterious double and what it might mean. Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) was fascinated by the possibility of the doppelgänger, the seeing of which is supposedly a presentiment of death. This inspired some of his … Continue reading Rossetti and the doppelgangers

Old Police Cells Museum & Victorian crime

Crime in a rapidly changing society Reading the novels of Jane Austen one might be forgiven for thinking that hers was a calm and relaxing period in which to live (1775-1817). “Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.” ― Jane Austen Far from it. The economy of the country was going through the rapid change of the Industrial Revolution. This brought … Continue reading Old Police Cells Museum & Victorian crime

10 patents for mad Victorian inventions

Yes – these are real Victorian design patents. We might laugh at some of them now, but they represent the hopes and dreams of a previous age. A design patent is a form of legal protection granted to the ornamental design of a functional item. But enough of that, here are ten of my favourites: (i)  A ‘Flying Machine’! Never mind if it works, you’ll … Continue reading 10 patents for mad Victorian inventions

The peculiar life & times of Flaming June: “The most wonderful painting in existence”

The peculiar life & times of Flaming June: “The most wonderful painting in existence”. A world renown Pre-Raphaelite piece of art – that will take us from Clapham Common to Puerto Rico, but carefully avoiding Andrew Lloyd Webber’s lefty granny. Continue reading The peculiar life & times of Flaming June: “The most wonderful painting in existence”