Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Yards of Fabric


How did women fare in the 1830s? European society was growing more conservative, and the lusty days of the Regency were now looked back on with a shudder. Popular culture might admire the dash of a Count d’Orsay, but, for women, only courtesans and actresses were permitted the same license.

Philadelphia Fashions., Digital ID 802063, New York Public LibraryAs one consequence, a trend was building for a greater envelopment of the feminine form in fabric. A new age was coming—one with powerful consequences for the future.

Announcement of Queen Victoria's Accession., Digital ID 1633251, New York Public LibraryIt began on the morning of June 20, 1837, when an eighteen year-old girl learned that she had become the reigning monarch of England. Her values would set a whole new standard for communicating gender. In fact, she’d give her name to the popular culture that would pervade the world until the end of the century: Victorianism. Peter Gay, our former head of the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, has written a series of books that describe the zeitgeist of that period, Bourgeois experience, from Victoria to Freud.

Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria - Coronoation age 19., Digital ID 1632261, New York Public Libraryp.s. Researching Costume and Fashion History is being offered on Tuesday April 7, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the South Court Classrooms.


Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

I just happened to have

I just happened to have written a post about mourning in Victorian times. Queen Victoria not only influenced gender standards, but also mourning rituals in dress based upon her public and excessive mourning for her Prince Albert....

Post new comment