The British have a variety of sayings that strike listeners of different English-speaking nationalities as odd. “Protected as homes” has all the time had a curious ring to my American ear, however it seems to be fairly ironic as properly: the expression grew in style within the Victorian period, a time when Londoners have been as more likely to be killed by their very own homes as the rest. That, a minimum of, is the impression given by “The Weird Methods Victorians Sabotaged Their Personal Well being & Lives,” the documentary investigation starring historian Suzannah Lipscomb above.
All through the second half of the nineteenth century, many an Englishman would have regarded himself as dwelling on the apex of civilization. He wouldn’t have been incorrect, precisely, since that place and time witnessed an unprecedented variety of large-scale improvements industrial, scientific, and home.
However a little bit information is usually a harmful factor, and the Victorians’ understanding of their favourite new applied sciences’ advantages ran significantly forward of their understanding of the attendant threats. The hazards of the darkish satanic mills have been comparatively apparent, however even the heights of home bliss, as that period conceived of it, may flip lethal.
Talking with a wide range of consultants, Lipscomb investigates the darkish facet of a wide range of accoutrements of the Victorian excessive (or a minimum of comfortably middle-class) life. These harmed not simply males however girls and youngsters as properly: take the breeding-ground of illness that was the toddler feeding bottle, or the organ-compressing corset — one in all which, adhering to the experiential sensibility of British tv, Lipscomb tries on and struggles with herself. Members of the eventual anti-corset revolt included Constance Lloyd, spouse of Oscar Wilde, and it’s Wilde’s apocryphal ultimate phrases that come to thoughts when the video will get into the arsenic content material of Victorian wallpaper. “Both that wallpaper goes, or I do,” Wilde is imagined to have stated — and as trendy science now proves, it may have been greater than a matter of style.
Associated Content material:
A 108-Yr-Outdated Lady Remembers What It Was Prefer to Be a Lady in Victorian England
The Colour That Might Have Killed Napoleon: Scheele’s Inexperienced
The 1855 Map That Revolutionized Illness Prevention & Information Visualization: Uncover John Snow’s Broad Avenue Pump Map
Hand-Coloured Maps of Wealth & Poverty in Victorian London: Discover a New Interactive Version of Charles Sales space’s Historic Work of Social Cartography (1889)
Poignant and Unsettling Submit-Mortem Household Portraits from the nineteenth Century
Behold the Steampunk Residence Train Machines from the Victorian Age
Primarily based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His initiatives embrace the Substack publication Books on Cities, the guide The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by way of Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video collection The Metropolis in Cinema. Comply with him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Fb.