Friday, July 27, 2007

Victorian Week - Part2

More interesting trivias ...

Did you know...?

1) Heating coal in the absence of air produces coal gas, used for lighting, and coke, which was used for heating homes. Coke, almost entirely composed of carbon, burns with little smoke but gives out a steady, intense heat.

2) London's air was notoriously bad, as the soot from the countless coal fires blackened exterior walls and discolored the shawls of women who ventured outside. With severe cases of smog during the 19th century (also nicknamed as "pea-soupers",) it is not suprising that one's health can be affected to the extend of moving to the countryside for cleaner air. This was the reason William's father gave to his wife so that she would moved to the countryside though in actual, there was a more egoistic reason behind the permanent move.

3) "Bathing machines, " windowless huts which were wheeled into the sea, allowed one to change in privacy and enter immediately into the water, to conform to Victorian standards of modesty. The bathing machines are identical rental units, differentiated by numbers on the top of the entrance.

4) Men and women were segregated into separate swimming areas, so William would not have gotten a glimpse of Eleanor in any event. However, she was still glad that William was not able to join that particular outing because she was embarrased for him to see her in her bathing clothes. LOL..check out the so-called bathing clothes which looked suitable for any casual events but swimming! Imagine if the trend stayed till this day - gals will be in summer dresses, while guys will mostly likely be in suits!

5) England's aristocrats resented the "pavernu," people who suddenly came into great wealth due to the industrial revolution, as these "upstarts" began showing up at their social functions. The Jones family were "upstarts" which was why they wanted the union of the Jones & Campbell family so much to finally have the one thing they most craved - acceptance. Viscount Campbell clearly was not keen on the union but only agreed as it would definitely solved the financial issues the family was facing.

6) India was ruled by the British from 1858 to 1947, as part of the British Empire. Queen Victoria was given the title of "Empress of India" by an act of Parliament, and by 1890 there were 20,000 Britons living in India. However, they resolutely kept to Victorian dress code, despite the hot climate, determined not to adopt "primitive" Indian ways. The spirited Monica, Elanor's sister, on the other hand, had "gone native" when she got to know Hakim, an Indian prince staying at the Jones estate, and who mode of transport around the city was atop an elephant, accompanied by 4 Indian lady escorts. Hakim too had a thing for Emma once ;) (in the First Act of Emma) but he was also the one who encouraged William to not give up Emma.

To be continued... =þ

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