The Victorean Era: An Overview

July 11 2017 Written by Shawn Carling

If you're a fan of steampunk, you're probably aware of how closely it is related to the Victorian Era. After all, Victorian steampunk is essentially a sub genre all of its own. Because it took place at the height of the industrial revolution, when steam power was at its apex, it is the perfect setting for steampunk.

What makes it steampunk?

What made Victorian Era England a powerhouse industrially, and is also the reason for its association with steampunk, was the pinnacle of steam technology: the train. Not only did did their pioneering of railway technology mean that they could transport goods, and thus facilitate trade, better than neighboring countries, but their design firms and railway patents themselves were sought worldwide.


England's religion at the time was largely affected by nonconformist churches, who were essentially dissenters against the established Church of England. Nonconformists were primarily middle class urban citizens, a class that largely hadn't existed before. Before the Victorian Era, nonconformists had strict religious restrictions, such as not being able to marry within their churches or be able to attend Oxford University. Eventually, they were able to win these rights.


 Prose, in the form of the novel, rose from relative obscurity to the most popular form of literature during this time period. The most prominent form of genre at this time was Gothic fiction. Notable examples include The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and the steampunk infused Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.


During the peak of the Victorian Era, spanning from 1850 through 1870, the average national income per person grew by 50%, which created a middle class almost out of nothing. This was largely due to railroads and other industrial inventions and practices. What this did was instill a sense of libertarianism in the community: taxes were low and restrictions from the government minimal. For the most part, there was peace both foreign and domestically. There was yet to be a clash between Marxist ideas, unions, and employers, and employers were often amicable to unions.


Many staples of old English life made a popular resurgence in the Victorian Era. Plays and operas were widely attended. Literature changed to prose, and such iconic writers as Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, and the Bronte Sisters came to the forefront.

Brass bands became common for the first time in England. This time is also considered the golden age for the circus.  Because of the prominence of the train, people were also able to take vacation trips for the first time in history.


Hopefully this quick overview of the Victorian Era proved interesting to you. It is one of the more popular settings for theme punk literature and media. If you are a steampunk fan, and want a one of a kind masterful work of art in your very own home, then check out our steampunk lamps and table available for sale online today. If you have any questions about our products, please don't hesitate to give us a call today. We'll be happy to answer any questions that you may have.