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January 12, 2015

50 Classic Portraits of Pretty Victorian Ladies

The status of women in the Victorian era was often seen as an illustration of the striking discrepancy between the United Kingdom's national power and wealth and what many, then and now, consider its appalling social conditions.

During the era symbolized by the reign of British monarch Queen Victoria, women did not have the right to vote, sue, or own property. At the same time, women participated in the paid workforce in increasing numbers following the Industrial Revolution.

Feminist ideas spread among the educated middle classes, discriminatory laws were repealed, and the women's suffrage movement gained momentum in the last years of the Victorian era.

Below is a selection of 50 classic portraits of pretty ladies from the Victorian era. You can check out much more of the photographs here.


  1. Pretty, ehmm .. yes .. one or two. Anyway, pretty interesting.

  2. I thought the exact same thing, lol!

  3. Interesting is the 'hidden messages' in the portraits- the use of props, how the hair was worn, the dresses. For example, girls tended to wear their hair down, married women or at least 'adult' women wore their hair 'up'. Holding a book started out as a statement that the woman could read/was educated. I seem to recall reading that leaning on a fence/gatepost was a sign that the woman held property.

  4. We're only humans ..

  5. After seeing many photos that were taken in this era of people, mostly children, dead and propped up, I have to wonder about a few of these, especially of the ones standing.

  6. Also interesting to note that back then every English town, no matter how small, seemed to be able to support at least one-if not more- professional photographers with a studio. Try walking down any high street these days with a 35mm film that needs developing, let alone getting a portrait taken. Our local small town photographer gave up finally last month.




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