Welcome to some interesting facts about life in the Victorian age.
It was not all bustles and tea parties, nor was it entirely squalid living and numbing poverty. There were extremes during this age of those who had and those who had not. Yet plenty of people fall in between these two categories.
But, what held the attention of so many Victorians, rich or poor, were the amazing strides made in science and exploration. In many ways, the era was a coming of age story for western civilization. An innocence shared and shattered at the same time. A grasping for what was comfortable and untenable, while racing toward the possible and unknown.
Steam drove the power and mobility of the western nations, and at the same time, crushed non-western civilizations under its wheels. For those straddling the gap between opulent ignorance and destitute worldliness, the Age of Steam and Exploration brought a mixture of pride and shame. People, such as Lettie Gantry and Tom Turner, knew all too well what the price of progress was.
We still look back at the Victorian Era with a nostalgic eye, seeing the fans and parasols, the brass and silver, cane and gloves, and especially the fine manners. If this is what we seek to recreate in our newest Cult of Beauty, the 21st Century Belle Epoch, then the Steampunk movement will be entirely relevant into the future.