30 Fascinating Victorian Traditions We Can't Believe Existed

By Sophia Maddox | April 8, 2024

We Wish You A Morbid Christmas

The Victorian era was a time of contrarian ideals: They covered themselves completely but fetishized the female figure, they were obsessed with cleanliness but practically lived in a sewer, and they prized marriage and family above all things but sold their wives at auction. It's possible that the Victorians couldn't see the forest for the trees, but maybe they were just a generation full of weirdos.

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(Collectors Weekly)

Christmas cards in the Victorian era weren't your standard "awkwardly posed family smiling in front of a fake tree." They featured anthropomorphic food, dead animals, and scenes of pure violence, all alongside festive greetings to one's friends and neighbors. At a time when winter could earnestly mean death for any of your loved ones, some gallows humor was necessary.

Visiting Hours

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(Pinterest)

Today, the standard "wyd?" text is the only requirement to arrange an impromptu hangout, but that wasn't the case for Victorians. Ladies were expected to be ready to host visitors from three to six in the afternoon, with any time after reserved for very close friends and relatives, and anyone else who showed up outside those times was considered a serious jerk.