Archive: "Victorian and Edwardian Literature" Category

How to Celebrate a Victorian Christmas

Special Collections is celebrating the Christmas season with a new exhibit, “From Shrieks to Shenanigans: How to Celebrate a Truly Victorian Christmas.” The Victorians loved Christmas carols and tales of Father Christmas, but their festivities also included jokes, games, and ghost stories. The exhibit, which was curated by Dr. Leslee Thorne-Murphy’s English 236 students, showcases …

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World War I and British Literature

In honor of Armistice Day, which commemorates the end of the First World War, Special Collections is highlighting the impact of the War on English literature. As the First World War ruptured all aspects of European society, writers like Siegfried Sassoon, T. S. Eliot, and Rupert Graves broke with traditional forms of literary writing and …

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Victorian Leisure: Games

Special Collections has just digitized a set of books of games from Victorian England. From charades and riddles to group party games and homemade toys, these books illustrate the types of home-based entertainment which were popular among children and adults in the 19th century. Find and try a game your ancestor might have played, or …

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The Cuala Press

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting the work of one of the first female fine press printers, Elizabeth Corbet Yeats (1868-1940). Elizabeth was the sister of poet William Butler Yeats. Elizabeth, known as “Lolly,” and her sister Susan, called “Lily,” were both involved in the Arts & Crafts movement in England and Ireland. …

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A Christmas Welcome to the Saviour Guest

Special Collections’ latest exhibit features Christmas tales and poems from the 19th century. It brings together items from across our major collecting areas: the Americana, Victorian, Rare American Literature, Fine Press, and Literary Manuscripts collections. This is a great chance to see the breadth of our literature collections—from a first edition of A Christmas Carol …

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Victorian Leisure: Sports

Before the Victorian period, leisure time (and the means to pursue recreation) was largely something only the upper classes could afford. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, the middle class was able to pursue recreation — and as a group, they wanted their leisure activities to be moral, respectable, and productive. The Victorian middle class was …

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When Sherlock Holmes Retired

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s final collection of Sherlock Holmes stories turns a century old this week! Published 22 October 1917, His Last Bow: Some Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes includes stories which appeared in The Strand magazine in the first decade of the 20th century, including “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” and “The Disappearance of …

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Bazaar Literature

Special Collections’ newest major exhibit, Welcome to Our Charity Bazaar, features an interesting subgenre of Victorian literature: poems, stories, and books produced for sale at fundraising fairs throughout the 19th century in Great Britain and the United States. Many famous authors of the period contributed pieces which were printed either as standalone items or anthologized …

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The Victorian “Shilling Shocker”

The Victorian period saw a huge growth in literacy in the British Isles. In 1841, around 2/3 of adult men were literate and 1/2 of adult women were literate. By the end of the century, literacy was almost universal, with 97% of all adults able to read. As the lower classes joined the ranks of …

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