Victorian times

by Tamara Myshak

Queen Victoria became monarch in 1837 at the age of 18. She had a strong character. Her husband was her cousin who she loved very much. His name was Albert. She fell in love with him at first sight and proposed to him first. When he died in 1861 Queen Victoria wore black for the rest of her life.

Victoria survived seven assassination attempts. Two of these were by the same man, one day after the other. The Victorians were very prudish. Women wore long skirts because they could not show men their ankles.

In Victorian times children often died before their teenage years. Half of all infants died before their fifth birthday. And not all of this was from illness. Many parents murdered their own children because they were too expensive to bring up.

Children started to work as soon as they could crawl. Children made nails and matchboxes, became miners and maids.

Town life was horrible. Sewage went straight into the river Thames. This water was used then for cooking and washing. Water from taps was a horrible brown colour.

Schools were brutal. If you misbehaved a big piece of wood was tied across your shoulders. Classes had over 70 pupils in them. If children went to school they did not work. School cost a penny a day. In 1891 education became free.

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