Saturday 18 May 2024

Happy Birthday Queen Victoria

This long weekend is the celebration of the birthday of Queen Victoria, Huzzah!

For the record her entire title was:

"Her Majesty Victoria, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Queen, Defender of the Faith, Empress of India".

But why is this a holiday in Canada you ask?

Here is some info from the Canada's History website.

The Victorian Society of Alberta


The Story of Victoria Day

Who is Victoria and why do we have a holiday named after her?

Posted November 5, 2015

For many Canadians, the Victoria Day holiday weekend is the time to start thinking about summer. Bonus: It’s a day off school! But why do we celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria, who died over 120 years ago?

Until 1956, the birthday of the monarch—that’s the king or queen—of Great Britain was also celebrated in Canada, sometimes on his or her own birthday, sometimes around that time and sometimes on Victoria Day.

She was queen when Canada became its own country in 1867, and she was the one who chose Ottawa as our capital. After she died in 1901, the Canadian government declared that May 24 would be a holiday in her honour. (If the 24th fell on a Sunday, the holiday would be May 25.)

In 1957, Victoria Day was named the official birthday in Canada of Queen Elizabeth II. (In Great Britain, her birthday, which is actually April 21, is celebrated in June.) And Victoria Day is officially held on the Monday right before May 25.


Portrait by Winterhalter, 1859

From Wikipedia info on Her Majesty

Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death in 1901. Her reign of 63 years and 216 days—which was longer than those of any of her predecessors—constituted the Victorian era. It was a period of industrial, political, scientific, and military change within the United Kingdom, and was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire. In 1876, the British Parliament voted to grant her the additional title of Empress of India.

Victoria was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (the fourth son of King George III), and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. After the deaths of her father and grandfather in 1820, she was raised under close supervision by her mother and her comptroller, John Conroy. She inherited the throne aged 18 after her father's three elder brothers died without surviving legitimate issue. Victoria, a constitutional monarch, attempted privately to influence government policy and ministerial appointments; publicly, she became a national icon who was identified with strict standards of personal morality.

Victoria married her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, in 1840. Their nine children married into royal and noble families across the continent, earning Victoria the sobriquet "grandmother of Europe". After Albert's death in 1861, Victoria plunged into deep mourning and avoided public appearances. As a result of her seclusion, British republicanism temporarily gained strength, but in the latter half of her reign, her popularity recovered. Her Golden and Diamond jubilees were times of public celebration. Victoria died at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, at the age of 81. The last British monarch of the House of Hanover, she was succeeded by her son Edward VII of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.(Known as the "House of Windsor" after 1917 because "Saxe-Coburg and Gotha" sounded too German for public sensibilities during WWI)

Friday 17 May 2024

May Fashion Friday

 Here is another Fashion Friday video for the gentlemen.

This collection of Mid Victorian portraits is fascinating.
The AI effects in the early part of the video are frankly a bit creepy to me, but overall this is a great collection of "formal" looks.

The Victorian Society of Alberta

Friday 26 April 2024

April Fashion Friday

 Today we feature a delightful "unboxing video" from the Antique Menswear YouTube channel.

The channel has a ton of interesting information well worth checking out.

The Victorian Society of Alberta

Saturday 13 April 2024

Spring and a young man's thoughts turn to...


Courtesy of  The History Wrangler on FB

Greetings, here’s a little Alberta history for you! The first car in Alberta, also known as the ‘Horseless Carriage’ was purchased in August 1903 by Billy Cochrane, a British cattle rancher. Three years later, in 1906, he and Mr White made the first Calgary to Edmonton trip when there was a total of 41 licences cars in the province. Cheers! 🇨🇦 


Friday 22 March 2024

March Fashion Friday

 This month we have an interesting book found at the Internet Archive.

by De Valcourt, Robert
Publication date 1866 
"If a woman fancies that she looks better or
feels better in men's clothes, there is no reason
why she may not indulge in so harmless a fancy. It
is done freely and frequently on the continent of
Europe. The author of Consuelo, for years, wore
a masculine dress in the streets and cafes of Paris,
whenever she chose to do so. Miss Weber, an ex-
cellent and highly accomplished woman, in Belgium,
in all societies wears no other. Some American
ladies of late have done the same, in defiance of the
laws. We do not see that any moral or proper
legal question is involved in this ; or, if the dress is
neat and becoming, convenient to the wearer, and
pleasant to others, that it is a breach of good man-
ners. It is a simple question of good and evil. If
the amount of happiness, immediate or ultimate, is
increased by any costume, it is right to wear it."

The Publishers  of  the  "Illustrated
Book  of  Manners  "  have  much  satis-
faction in  offering  the  following  pages
to  the  public  inspection.

They  ask  more  than  a  cursory
glance  at  head  lines  and  engravings;
for  it  is  a  work  of  a  higher  use  and  greater  importance
than  any  one  would  be  likely  to  suspect,  from  a  slight
and  superficial  examination.

It  treats  of  a  subject  of  universal  interest  and  utility.
Every  man,  woman  and  child,  ought  to  know  how  to
dress,  act,  converse  and  respond  to  the  varied  demands
of  our  social  relations,  in  the  best  possible  manner.  Our
whole  life  and  society  needs  re-forming,  educating,  re-
fining, and  polishing,  to  bring  out  its  highest  use  and

Life  is  made  up  of  little  things;  little  acts,  little
courtesies,  little  enjoyments.  He  who  has  most  of  these,
gives  most  pleasure  to  others,  and  secures  most  happiness
to  himself.

Do  not  say,  these  things  are  trifles,  and  of  no  import-
ance.  It  is  worth  every  man's  study  and  effort  to  be  a
gentleman;  and  every  woman  should  try  to  be  a  lady,
particularly  in  a  country  where  public  gallantry  accords
to  every  one  that  designation.  The  many  things  which
combine  to  form  the  manners  and  guide  the  deportment
of  the  lady  and  gentleman,  greatly  increase  the  sum  of
human  happiness.

The  author  of  this  work  has  earnestly  endeavored  to
make  it  a  great  public  teacher,  and  reformer,  in  all  the
outward  decencies,  proprieties,  graces,  and  accomplish-
ments, which  fit  men  and  women  for  the  enjoyment  of
social  life;  and  as  society  is  a  natural  want  of  humanity,
and  the  source  of  all  his  most  exquisite  pleasures,  sure-
ly it  is  right  that  he  should  carefully  avoid  every  thing
that  will  interfere  with  social  happiness,  and  eagerly
cultivate  every  talent  and  accomplishment,  that  will
enhance  its  pleasures.

The  illustrations  have  been  selected  from  the  works  of
various  artists;  and  are  intended  to  contrast  grac*e  and
elegance,  with  awkwardness  and  deformity.  In  many
cases,  the  advice  of  the  text  is  enforced  by  a  picture  in
ludicrous  contrast;  and  the  intention  of  the  engravings
can  only  be  understood  by  the  careful  reader.  It  would
have  been  easy  to  fill  a  book  with  beautiful  designs,  but
these  would  not  have  taught  the  lessons  of  life,  which
it  was  our  intention  to  impress  vividly  on  the  mind  of
the  reader.

This  book  is  intended  to  be  read,  and  even  carefully
studied,  in  course,  from  the  first  chapter  to  the  last.
Some  chapters  may  be  more  worthful  than  others,  but
each  one  contains  its  Life  Lesson,  and  all  combine  in  one
harmonious  whole,  in  their  influence  upon  the  character
and  actions.  The  author  has  endeavored,  everywhere,
"  To  make  the  useful  pleasant,  and  the  pleasant  useful."

Tuesday 5 March 2024

March Book Tuesday

This month we highlight a fascinating look into Victorian history through a collection of fabric samples kept by a Victorian Lady.

H/T Penny Young on the Victorian/Edwardian Aficionados group on Facebook.

The Victorian Society of Alberta

The Dress Diary of Mrs Anne Sykes: Secrets from a Victorian Woman's Wardrobe
by Kate Strasdin

The hidden fabric of a Victorian woman's life - from family and friends to industry and Empire - told through her unique textile scrapbook.

The Times

'The story of a singular woman... Kate Strasdin's forensic detective work has finally let Mrs Sykes - and her book - speak again' JUDITH FLANDERS

In 1838, a young woman was given a diary on her wedding day. Collecting snippets of fabric from a range of garments she carefully annotated each one, creating a unique record of her life and times. Her name was Mrs Anne Sykes.

Nearly two hundred years later, the diary fell into the hands of Kate Strasdin, a fashion historian and museum curator. Strasdin spent the next six years unravelling the secrets contained within the album's pages.

Piece by piece, she charts Anne's journey from the mills of Lancashire to the port of Singapore before tracing her return to England in later years. Fragments of cloth become windows into Victorian life: pirates in Borneo, the complicated etiquette of mourning, poisonous dyes, the British Empire in full swing, rioting over working conditions and the terrible human cost of Britain's cotton industry.

This is life writing that celebrates ordinary people: the hidden figures, the participants in everyday life. Through the evidence of waistcoats, ball gowns and mourning outfits, Strasdin lays bare the whole of human experience in the most intimate of mediums: the clothes we choose to wear.

'An extraordinarily rich record of middle-class Victorian life.. [a] fascinating book' Guardian


Friday 23 February 2024

February Fashion Friday

 This month we have some good fashion tips from the Moose Jaw Times of 1897.

Found at the Time Travellers Rabbit Hole on FB which is definitely worth checking out!

Oh and beware that "French effect" <shudder>.

The Victorian Society of Alberta