April 2018

What Would a Victorian Novel Monopoly Board Look Like?

I like to think I have some virtues kicking around in here, but patience, my friends, is not one of them. So Monopoly, with its long, drawn-out deaths by bleeding paper money and weeks of treading on tiny plastic houses afterwards, was never one of my favourites. I suspect I, like most people, am guilty of not knowing all the rules which would help make it a less excruciating experience.

However, over a nice end-of-semester coffee, I got to playing the much more fun game of imagining what a Victorian Monopoly board would look like. Here is my best guess. Have I missed any of your favourites?


If you like the idea of Victorian Monopoly, you might also enjoy our ‘Great Victorian Novel Generator’

Continue reading “What Would a Victorian Novel Monopoly Board Look Like?”


National Siblings Day. Who are your favourite nineteenth-century siblings?

It’s national siblings day! This fact dawned on me in a meeting with fabulous fellow nineteenth-century scholars @DigiVictorian, @DrBeard, and @DrDouglasSmall. To celebrate, we set each other the challenge of coming up with some siblings – real or fictional – who deserve a nod today.

For my choice, I’ve gone for: Christina and Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Not only were the Rossetti siblings immensely talented poets and artists each in their own right, but you can also see the traces of sibling relationships (and rivalries) in their work. Dante Gabriel used his sister as a model in several of his best-known early paintings, including ‘The Girlhood of the Virgin Mary’ (1849) and  ‘Ecce Ancilla Domini’ (1850) although he also liked to taunt her by capturing her in her less flattering moments, such as this sketch from 1862 of Christina in mid-tantrum.

Meanwhile, Christina makes reference to her brother’s notoriously quirky pet in her poem ‘Goblin Market’ (1862). Yes, Dante Gabriel was the proud, and often pretty hapless owner of a pet WOMBAT. Continue reading “National Siblings Day. Who are your favourite nineteenth-century siblings?”

Victorians in Springtime

It’s springtime! The birds are singing, the emulsified chocolate treats are flying off the shelves, and I thought it would be fun to look at some Victorian paintings of springtime to see how the Victorians passed the time of year.


Leighton Burleigh
Edmund Blair Leighton, ‘The Lord of Burleigh’

On a fine spring afternoon, Ralph was insistent in his efforts to mansplain trigonometry to Ethel. Later, they would find him beaten to death with that there basket of cold cuts.

Continue reading “Victorians in Springtime”

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