The odd world of Victorian Easter cards

For Easter last year the BBC ran a story about the rising trend for Easter greeting cards in the Victorian era:

The odd world of Victorian Easter cards

The popularity of greeting cards rose over the nineteenth century as changes were made to Britain’s postal service.

While Easter cards aren’t as commonly posted in Britain anymore, they are still a big part of the holiday in some other parts of Europe.

Some of the funnier cards are below. The Jewish one in particular is very confusing (why does one of the chickens have a bandaged foot and a walking stick?), while some of the others are simply creepy to modern eyes!

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100 Objects – Victorian Tea Set

The British Museum’s A History of the World in 100 Objects has been on loan to the National Museum here in Canberra for a while, and we finally got to it on the weekend.

I was pretty unimpressed with the idea “the world” apparently doesn’t include huge sections of it (they couldn’t manage anything from the huge Slavic societies of the east of Europe, nor huge sections of other continents, but a handful of countries are seriously overrepresented?).

However, being as crazy about the Victorian era as I am, here is a stoneware and silver English tea set from the early 1840s that is part of the exhibition. Oddly – and for the BRITISH Museum – it is about the only thing representing the British Empire, and the only thing from 19th century Britain.

However – look at it! I love it.

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On this day: the founding of Essex County Cricket Club

Essex County Cricket Club was founded at a meeting in Chelmsford‘s Shire Hall on the 14th of January, 1876.

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The Essex team in 1897. X

The sport of cricket had been in the area since some time in the 16th century, but no major teams were organised until the late Victorian era. Essex CCC became First-Class in 1894.

Most of the team’s home games are played in Chelmsford, the county town of Essex.

On this day: the Springwell Pit disaster

On the 6th of December, 1872, a disaster occurred at a coal mining pit near Dawley in Shropshire, England.

Eight miners fell to their deaths when the chain they held to be raised from the mine snapped. The chain, estimated to weigh one tonne, landed on top of them.

The victims were all aged between fifteen and twenty-two.

An illustration of the chain used by the miners.

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On this day: the publication of Black Beauty

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1877 first edition cover. X

Black Beauty, a novel by English author Anna Sewell, was first published on the 24th of November, 1877.

Considered to be a story about animal rights, the book is about the life of a horse, told in autobiographical form.

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Sewell had been barely able to walk since she was fourteen, when injuries to both her ankles were incorrectly treated, and she was an invalid when the book was written and published.

While she lived to see Black Beauty’s initial success, she died of an illness only five months afterwards.