The Story of the Victorians

The Story of the Victorians

The Story of the Victorians (2019)
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This in-depth special edition explores the dynamic era of the Victorian period, 1837 to 1901. DISCOVER IN THIS ISSUE: - Key milestones in Victorian history - A cast of intriguing characters, from naturalist Charles Darwin to social reformer Florence Nightingale. - The dramatic events that led to social and political change. - A fascinating insight into the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. - Expert analysis of the huge expansion of the British empire and its enduring legacy.

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United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
NOK 95.74

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1 min.

From life in London’s East End slums to the politics of the queen’s drawing room, the Victorian age is a rich source of human interest. The Story of the Victorians looks at Britain during the long reign of a formidable queen (1837_1901), a period that saw dramatic events both at home and abroad. The country’s fast-growing industrial economy was spurred on by the meteoric growth of the British empire. We look at how this was created and maintained not just through commerce, but also through a constant series of wars, as well as how it shaped British society. We’ll discover some of the impressive cast of characters whose endeavours still influence British life today, from Florence Nightingale to industrialist William Hesketh Lever and naturalist Charles Darwin. We’ll also take a look at the…

7 min.
the victorian era

1837 The death of William IV brings 18-year-old Princess Victoria to the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. She inherits a country scarred by deep social and political divisions, worsened by uneven industrialisation and rapid urban growth. 1839 On 14 June, against a background of intense economic distress, the first great Chartist petition is presented to parliament. It contains almost 1.3 million signatures and demands the six points of the ‘People’s Charter’ be made law. Its rejection prompts the desperate Newport Rising in November, involving thousands of Chartists armed with pikes and muskets. At least 22 are killed and 50 seriously wounded by soldiers stationed in the town. 1842 As distress and Chartist agitation continues, Edwin Chadwick publishes his great Sanitary Report. It reveals the shocking cost of Britain’s rapid and…

8 min.
victoria warrior queen

Kensington Palace, London, six in the morning. Princess Victoria is woken by her mother and told that two men are there to see her. She rises quickly, throws a dressing-gown over her nightdress and, with her hair still loose about her shoulders, receives the two visitors in her sitting-room. She recognises them as Lord Conyngham, the portly lord chamberlain, and Dr William Howley, the septuagenarian archbishop of Canterbury. They have come from Windsor Castle and their presence can only mean one thing: her uncle, King William IV, is dead. The king “had expired at 12 minutes past two this morning”, she records later in her journal, “and consequently I am Queen”. Victoria was just 18 when she became Queen on 20 June 1837. At the time, Britain was the world’s leading…

3 min.
victoria’s wars

1839–42 First Afghan War REASON To prevent the Russians from gaining a diplomatic and military foothold in Afghanistan from where they could threaten British India. OUTCOME The withdrawal of all British troops from Afghanistan, but only after General Pollock’s Army of Retribution had avenged the earlier destruction of a British force by retaking Kabul. 1839–42 First Opium (or China) War REASON To prevent the Chinese government from stopping the lucrative opium trade which provided the East India Company with much of its revenue. OUTCOME The Chinese cede Hong Kong to the British and open up four new treaty ports to foreign trade. 1843 Sind War REASON To secure the vital frontier province of Sind and open up the lower Indus river for commercial exploitation. OUTCOME The Indian government annexes Sind. 1845–46 First Sikh War REASON To repel an invasion of British India by the…

3 min.
maharaja duleep singh 1838–93

In 1837, India, the strategic centre – the ‘jewel in the crown’ – of Britain’s growing global imperial system was still run by a private company and was a patchwork of ad hoc administration. The Honourable East India Company did not control the entire subcontinent; some regions were semi-autonomous princely states, while others were completely independent. The biggest worry was the Sikh kingdom of the Punjab. Its ruler, the great Ranjit Singh, had turned it into a powerful state with a large and well-resourced army, and its proximity to Afghanistan and Russia could have turned it into a mortal threat to British India overnight. Ranjit Singh’s death in 1839 led to instability and two Anglo-Sikh wars which resulted in the Punjab’s complete subjugation. Along with the state, the British took control of…

17 min.
8 big questions

1 What exactly was the British empire? PROFESSOR LINDA COLLEY, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY This seems to be a rudimentary question, but we can lose sight of it. People often make assumptions that they know what the British empire was, when in fact it was an umbrella term that covered a multitude of different types of spaces, different kinds of authority, different kinds of imperial connections. One of the most influential but deceptive forces in shaping people’s attitudes is that famous Victorian map of the world where the parts of the empire were coloured red. That gives a cut-and-dried impression of what the empire was, but what about the informal empire? In many ways, for instance, Argentina was substantially run by the British during the 19th century, but it was not coloured red because it…