Monday, January 24, 2011

THE VICTORIANS AND ME

Living in an 1885 Victorian home, I often feel a kinship with those who lived during that time period. I wish our walls could talk and tell me about the people who once lived here! The Victorians were famous for being sentimental about love and family and often saved letters, locks of hair, postcards, even obituaries of loved ones. I do much the same. I still have letters that my grandma gave me as a child! Several years ago, I found this sweet Victorian scrapbook for a song. The dealer sold it to me for $2, clearly thinking it was pretty worthless. But to me, it was a treasure. It is literally filled to the brim with obituaries—a centuries worth of them spanning 1840 to 1945 from the Higbee family of Kentucky.


I hope you won't find me morbid but I actually find it interesting to read these bits of history from Victorian life. Many of the women were avid members of the temperance movement and worked arduously for its cause. The obituary for Sarah A. Higbee reads "She was a strong advocate of temperance and during the early history of White Hall was one of the leading women of the community in the activities to wipe out the saloons and gambling dens that were so notorious here." Click on this photo to enlarge and read some of the other Higbee obituaries if you are interested!


My most cherished Victorian finds are old magazines from that time period. A couple years ago I found two bound volumes of Golden Days for Boys and Girls magazine in wonderful condition. This was a weekly magazine of entertaining stories and articles for boys and girls published in Philadelphia from 1882 to 1890.


The articles for girls covered such topics as painting on silk and satin and tips for giving presents while the articles for boys focused on adventurous tales and lessons in activities such as fishing. I originally purchased the volumes for their beautiful illustrations of Victorian life.


Being an ardent pincushion fan, I especially enjoyed this article on making pincushions. I'm in the process of making this pea pincushion. Isn't it cute?


Here's another fun find from a few years ago. I found this old book, Little Chatterers, in an antique shop in the Twin Cities. These books can be found rather cheaply. I don't think I've paid more than $15 for a copy of Little Chatterers.


Like the Golden Days book, I bought it primarily for its wonderful illustrations. I just love these little beauties. Aren't they sweet?


What fun these children seem to be having popping corn over the fire!


So, my question for you is: Are you sentimental like the Victorians, too? I hope I'm not the only one out there who can't seem to let go of those childhood letters and other cherished memorabilia from days past.