victoriaAs briefly introduced in class, Victorian Age is a quite long and complex period and thus full of contradictions.

Victoria became queen at the age of eighteen and was a determined, strong-willed young woman but as most teenagers, she needed advice.

She then met Albert who became her husband and together they had a relatively short but intense and happy life.

These are three videos about her life

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Read this short summary about the key features of the period Summary

For an in-depht look at the complexity of Victorian age I recommend this awesome website created by Cristiana Ziraldo, a friend and colleague, who actually inspired this page.

DAVID COPPERFIELD by Charles Dickens



Steam was the number one source of energy during Victorian times. Steam powered everything from trains and steamships to factories that used steam to power their machines. In order to make steam, you must have water and heat. To provide heat they had to burn coal, and lots of it. Therefore coal mines used a large part of the Victorian Child Labor force in the 1800’s.

The thought of using children  in coal mines was very attractive to mining companies. Children were much smaller, could operate in tight spaces and demanded a lot less pay. Useless  to say that they had to work in dreadful conditions.

But working in coal mines was just one of the possibilities.

Laundry for pay, scaring the birds from the fields, chimney sweeper, factory worker, farm worker, rat catcher, seller in the streets, pick pocketer were popular “jobs”.


LINK TO FIND OUT MORE: Victorian Children and/or BBC Primary History



When my mother died I was very young,
And my father sold me while yet my tongue
Could scarcely cry ” ‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep! ‘weep!”
So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.
There’s little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head
That curled like a lamb’s back, was shaved, so I said,
“Hush, Tom! never mind it, for when your head’s bare,
You know that the soot cannot spoil your white hair.”
And so he was quiet, & that very night,
As Tom was a-sleeping he had such a sight!
That thousands of sweepers, Dick, Joe, Ned, & Jack,
Were all of them locked up in coffins of black;
And by came an Angel who had a bright key,
And he opened the coffins & set them all free;
Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing they run,
And wash in a river and shine in the Sun.
Then naked & white, all their bags left behind,
They rise upon clouds, and sport in the wind.
And the Angel told Tom, if he’d be a good boy,
He’d have God for his father & never want joy.
And so Tom awoke; and we rose in the dark
And got with our bags & our brushes to work.
Though the morning was cold, Tom was happy & warm;
So if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.

Which contrasts/contradictions can you identify in this poem ?


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