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When considering the Victorian era, a common perspective of the culture is of one that was prudish, stuffy, and dynamic but perhaps with an underlying tone of darkness. The Victorian era brought England to its apex as a world power through rapid industrialization which, although it allowed Britain to rise, brought about many social and economic problems and discussions. The world around the Victorians was constantly changing and the culture itself adapted as well. However, among the many innovations of the era was one constant: death. When analyzing the Victorian culture, it is obvious that coping with one’s own mortality is a recurring theme. It permeates every aspect of Victorian life, from literature to the harsh reality of life in Victorian England plagued with deplorable working conditions for the poor and a rapid increase in murder. Death became such a prevalent aspect of Victorian life that mourning became an art form in their culture, exemplified by their ruler herself, Queen Victoria. By analyzing various aspects of Victorian culture, from the “art” of dying to published works of literature with macabre themes, one can clearly see that death was a morbid fascination for the Victorians that surrounded them in every facet of their lives.

Key Words: Victorian Era; Death; Mortality; Literature; Poetry; Tennyson; Penny Dreadfuls; Obsession; England; Queen Victoria


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19 Jul 2022
148 kB



  • Subject
    • English

  • Institution
    • Gainesville

  • Event location
    • Library Technology Center 380

  • Event date
    • 24 March 2017

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022