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Victorian America Through British Eyes

Such was the influence of the British Victorian period on matters of style, culture and fashion that even in America, we have our "Victorian Period." In this section, we present glimpses of American Victoriana -- and glimpses of America as seen through the eyes of visitors!

A Day's Expedition in Virginia, by the Countess of Meath (GOP 1894)
The Countess does find American ways a bit different from what she is used to -- especially in the matter of ordinary folk considering themselves her equal!

After-School Education in America, by Dora de Blaquière (GOP 1898)
A look at women's "clubs" in America, and the education curricula these provided. ("After-school" means "after graduation.")
American Schoolgirl Life, by M.B. Byrde (GOP 1894)
Memories of life in an American parochial school.
American Slang, Catchwords and Abbreviations, by Dora de Blaquière (GOP 1894)
From shucks and swells to "slantendicularly!"
American Women, by the M.P. for Rochdale (GOP 1880)
A short but interesting article looking at American women in education, at work... and in prison!
The Girls of the United States, by "A Resident" (GOP 1888)
American girls have "unbridled freedom," says this author; the article also touches on the "servant problem," servant wages, and the difficulties in employing servants of different races.
A Gossip on the Recent Poetry of America, by Gleeson White (GOP 1889)
Includes some delightful examples of contemporary American poems.
How American Girls Entertain, by Gertrude Bacon (GOP 1902)
A Lady's Journey to Texas and Back Again, by Julia Couron (GOP 1883-84)
In 1880, having suffered "great losses in business," a British family "resolved to try what a new country could do for us -- or rather what we could manage to do in another land." A fascinating look at the journey (the San Antonio hotel was a whopping $1 per night), and life on a small Texas ranch.
Our American Sale, and How We Worked It (GOP 1889)
What is an "American Sale"? We'd know it today as a "rummage sale" -- who knew they had those back in 1889, or that they'd prove such a success in the British parish?

The Silver Spoon Craze, by Dora de Blaquière (GOP 1897)
On the fad for collecting souvenir spoons in the US and Canada.
Copyright © 2017 by
Moira Allen.
All rights reserved.

Magazine Abbreviations:
CFM = Cassell's Family Magazine GOP = Girl's Own Paper ILA = Illustrated London Almanack S = The Strand
AM = Atlantic Monthly C = Century Magazine D = Demorest's Monthly Magazine G = Godey's Lady's Book H = Harper's Monthly
Find out more about the magazines used on this site!
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