Pop Culture

in 19th century England

Music Halls and Penny Gaffs

Penny gaffs were very popular in the early 1800's. For just a penny, people (mainly women) would be admitted into the back room of a public house. Often times, they would compete for gin by shouting. This practice slowly gave way to the more respectable music halls and theaters. In these places, you could listen to music or watch entertainers preform acts such as acrobatics and the can-can.

Dress and Atire

Dress and Attire

This period of the 19th century is known as the Victorian period. This period is known for its corsets, bonnets, top hats and petticoats.

Men often wore coats with long tails and long pants. Top hats were a common sight, and men typically swept their hair underneath. Facial hair was preferable in this time period.

Women typically wore clothes that showed their figure and physique. The smaller the waist, the better (according to society in the 1800's). Long sleeved dresses were typically worn during the day, and at night, short and puffed sleeved dresses. Bonnets were often wore outdoors, with top knots worn underneath. Throughout the 1800's, hairstyles became more popular and women often lost the hats.


Instead of describing the art, let me show you...
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Afternoon tea was a very common practice in the Victorian Era. It was a chance to socialize and show off, in a sense. As for food, meat, fish, and poultry were common foods to be consumed, along with a side of vegetables. Holidays were considered a time of celebration, and therefore called for delicious food. Pork, turkey, stewed rabbits, plum pudding and mince pies are examples of foods that the rich would consume during a holiday season.
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During this time period, the waltz was a very popular dance between couples. In the beginning of the 19th century, this dance was performed at arms length from your partner, but towards the end, couples tended to accept the closeness that the waltz required.

The polka was yet another dance that became popular in this era. The polka was a fast-paced dance that brought joy and pleasure to the thousands of people who enjoyed dancing.