Family Life in Victorian England
Family Life in Victorian England
In 1837, when eighteen-year-old Victoria became queen, relatively few of Englands people had ever travelled more than ten miles from the place where they were born. Little more than half the population could read and write, children as young as five worked in factories and mines, and political power was entirely in the hands of a small minority of men who held property. By the time Queen Victoria died in 1901, railways provided fast and cheap transportation for both goods and people, telegraph messages sped to the far corners of the British Empire in minutes, education was compulsory, and women were not only wives and domestic servants but also physicians, dentist, elected school-board members, telephone operators, and university lecturers. Every aspect of life had been transformers either by technology or by the political and legal reforms that reshaped Parliament, elections, universities, the army, education, public health, working conditions, trade unions, and civil and criminal law, and even family life.

The family – made up a father, mother, and a children living together – was increasingly idealised during the Victorian period. Among aristocrats, extended families had formerly promoted economic and political interests rather than encouraging close affectionate ties. But with Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their nine children, as models, the upper and middle classes paid more attention to family celebrations and to establishing a public image of closeness and intimacy.

Queen Victoria married her cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in February, 1840. By 1857, the Queen has borne nine children, and her devotion to her husband and to her home life had established her as a model bourgeois housewife. In 1861 Prince Albert died of typhoid. For the next 13 years Victoria went into mourning, refusing to appear in public or attend Privy Council meetings, seeing all state papers in private and living in virtual seclusion in the royal residences of Osborne, Balmoral and Windsor. Encouraged by her family, friend and the newly-elected Prime Minister, Disraeli, Victoria finally emerged from mourning in 1874.

In 1878 the Queen published her own diary, with drawings, of her life with Prince Albert and their children in the Highlands. It delighted the public, in particular the growing middle class. They had never before known anything of the private life of the monarch. The queen gave the example of an ideal family life.

Victoria spent much of her first two decades as queen in the state of pregnancy. In her diaries, she often complained about her pregnancies, and seemed to dislike infants. Albert, on the other hand, was very fond of the children as babies, though grew more distant, particularly from his sons, as they grew older. The royal children grew up under the watchful eye of their parents, and Victoria and Albert were very

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Eighteen-Year-Old Victoria And Time Queen Victoria. (June 14, 2021). Retrieved from