Unearthing the Health of Victorian London

What bones tell us about the lives and deaths of the dead. In 2011, AOC Archaeology completed an archaeological excavation at St John’s Primary School, Peel Grove, in Bethnal Green, London, ahead of the construction of a new nursery school. The site was a former burial ground privately run as a commercial business by pawnbroker[…]

David Livingstone and Victorian Medicine

Analyzing the evolving state of British health in the nineteenth century and how Livingstone’s perceptions of this health influenced his understanding of Africa and his writings. By Christopher Lawrence British Health in the 19th Century The practice and understanding of medicine profoundly changed during the years of Livingstone’s life (1813-1873). These changes grew out of[…]

The Victorian Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, 1888-1901

The history of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (1888-1901), the most influential hermetic society of the nineteenth century. Introduction This article presents the history of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (1888-1901), the most influential hermetic society of the nineteenth century. Its members practiced and trained initiates in using natural magic to[…]

How ‘The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám’ Inspired Victorian Hedonists

There began a cult of Khayyám that lasted at least until the First World War. By Roman KrznaricPublic Philosopher How did a 400-line poem based on the writings of a Persian sage and advocating seize-the-day hedonism achieve widespread popularity in Victorian England? The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám was written by the eccentric English scholar Edward FitzGerald, drawing[…]

Edward Gibbon Wakefield on Systematic Victorian Colonization and Its Discontents

Systematic colonization constitutes one of the most powerful and destructive examples of the ability of Victorian representations to permanently reshape the globe. Abstract In 1829, Edward Gibbon Wakefield published his first statement of a “systematic” theory of settler colonization, A Letter from Sydney: The Principal Town of Australasia. Wakefield offered a novel economic theory of[…]

Colonial Circuits between Europe and Asia in the 19th and Early 20th Centuries

The emergence of colonial migration circuits between Europe and Asia followed the ascendency of European mercantile and military power. Introduction The emergence of colonial migration circuits between Europe and Asia followed the ascendency of European mercantile and military power. In the early 19th century, the European presence in Asia was still extremely modest and very[…]

Victorian Occultism and the Art of Synesthesia

‘Thought-Forms, a strange, beguiling, frequently pretentious, utterly original book first published in 1901, emerged from a ferment of late-Victorian mysticism.’ “I have always considered myself a voice of what I believe to be a greater renaissance—the revolt of the soul against the intellect—now beginning in the world,” wrote William Butler Yeats to his mentor, the[…]

Hearing, Sensing, Feeling Sound: On Music and Physiology in Victorian England, 1857-1894

Acoustical science fundamentally transformed the ways that Victorians conceptualized the relations between aesthetics and the body. This article focuses on new developments in the burgeoning field of acoustical science that emerged in the mid-to-late-nineteenth century. During this time, sound science began to flourish in England, particularly through lectures by Hermann von Helmholtz and John Tyndall[…]

Publishing in Victorian England: Opening Up the ‘Class’-Room

In the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, reading was a privileged skill available to the upper-class elite. This began to change with publishing and more access to education. The History of Reading In the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, reading was a privileged skill available to the upper-class elite. Books were very expensive items and most of[…]