A Christmas Carol Backround
The Victorian Era
Queen Victoria (1819-1901) was the first English monarch to see her name given to the period of her reign whilst still living. The Victorian Age was characterized by rapid change and developments in nearly every sphere, from advances in medical, scientific and technological knowledge to changes in population growth and location. Over time, this rapid transformation deeply affected the country's mood: an age that began with a confidence and optimism leading to economic boom and prosperity eventually gave way to uncertainty and doubt regarding Britain's place in the world. Today we associate the nineteenth century with the Protestant work ethic, family values, religious observation and institutional faith.
For the most part, nineteenth century families were large and patriarchal. They encouraged hard work, respectability, social deference and religious conformity. While this view of nineteenth century life was valid, it was frequently challenged by contemporaries.