Victorian London

Dating 150 Years Ago

Courting CandleDo you think most teenagers today could have handled dating in the 1800s?

Back then, a woman’s choice of spouse had to be approved by her parents. A mother only let men in the house that she believed were ‘fit companions’ for her daughter. Similarly, a father used a courting candle to set boundaries for his daughter and her suitor. He would light the candle when the daughter’s suitor arrived, and when the candle Continue reading

Etiquette in Victorian London

Etiquette today is much different than it was back in the Victorian Era (1837 to 1901). In London, there were specific rules and expectations that men and women had to follow in order to be considered a “lady” or a “gentleman.” Many books, newspapers and magazines were distributed, teaching Victorian ladies and gentlemen how to behave properly according to the expectations of society. The goal of a Victorian lady was to please her husband and serve others.

Here are some of the most common, most interesting and simply bizarre guidelines that were outlined in Victorian London:

Westminster Abbey

The Westminster Abbey Shop


  1. A lady should not attend a ball without an escort and should never be left unattended (it is rude for a woman to be alone at a ball).
  2. Ladies have to make dancing look effortless and move gracefully.

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Entertainment in Victorian London

There were many different things for people to do for fun in the Victorian Era (1837 to 1901). Leisure activities included reading, visiting the seaside and playing outdoor games.



There were many barriers between males and females during the Victorian Era. Leisure activities broke down these barriers, for men and women often took part in them together. New opportunities for traveling arose as the railways were built, new sports were invented and new games became more popular. Before this time, natural history was a hobby of interest, especially for collectors, but as leisure activities came about, natural history was left for the specialists. The range of exciting activities attracted tourists to London, which caused travel to grow in popularity. Continue reading

Job Opportunities for Teenagers in Victorian London

Big Ben

Big Ben

During the Victorian era, jobs were scarce and extremely difficult to find – especially for children and teens in the lower class.

Unfortunately, there was a great divide in life opportunities depending on economic status. Wealthy children went to school, while poor children worked. There were a number of ways kids could find jobs. Teenagers who worked in the streets could land jobs running errands, calling cabs drawn by horses, sweeping roads, selling toys or flowers, and helping market porters. In better situations, children could begin working alongside their parents from a young age, doing things such as Continue reading