Monday 22 May 2023

Happy Victoria Day!

We hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend.

The Victorian Society of Alberta

Friday 19 May 2023

May Fashion Friday

 For this month's Fashion Friday we present a very interesting discussion about how Victorians created the illusion of having such tiny waists.

The Victorian Society of Alberta

Tuesday 2 May 2023

May Book Tuesday

This month we feature a review by VSA member Marian Gibbard

Thanks Marian

The Victorian Society of Alberta

Title:         Thunderstruck
Author:     Erik Larson
Published:     2006
The late Victorian and Edwardian era was a time of great change, both scientifically and socially.  Transportation and communication technology were advancing rapidly. Increased access to wealth and consumer goods was causing rapid shifts in established social structures. Against this background, Erik Larson paints the seemingly unconnected stories of two men. One, Guglielmo Marconi, a scientist and inventor grappling with natural forces he barely understands; the other,  Hawley Crippen, a struggling business man and devoted husband and lover.  Both are ambitious, daring, and facing long odds of achieving their dreams.  One of them will go on to become one of the great names in wireless communication, the other will go on to be executed as a murderer.

Extensively researched and with numerous footnotes, this book reads more like an adventure novel than a non-fiction selection.  More than just a dry recitation of facts and events, considerable effort has been put into describing for the reader the small details of scene, atmosphere, and personality that brings the characters and their settings to life.  The sights and sounds of the first, primitive wireless broadcast stations are brought to life without burying the reader in excessive technical details.

This was an entirely enjoyable read, and held my attention throughout.  I would recommend it to readers who want to know more (but not too much) about the development of intercontinental wireless communication, and also those who enjoy a good ‘true Victorian crime’ story.

“Snow began to fall and soon covered the clifftop. At night sparks from the transmitter lit the descending flakes. With each concussion a pale blue aura burst across the landscape, as if the transmission house were a factory stamping out ghosts for dispersal into the ether. Three-foot daggers of ice draped wires.”

    Thunderstruck by Erik Larson, p 233