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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Victoriana refers to items or material from the Victorian period (1837–1901), especially those particularly evocative of the design style and outlook of the time.

The word is usually used to refer to printed work or to objects such as machinery, house decoration, or furniture. It would be unusual, although not technically incorrect, to refer to period-specific buildings and large machines (such as the Natural History Museum in Kensington, London, or a dreadnought-type battleship) as Victoriana.

Victoriana tends to reflect the tastes of the period. Examples in literature might be Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist or Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla, stories which strongly reflect the moral atmosphere of the time. In the case of objects, a military tailcoat, carriage clock or scrollwork on an iron gate might be considered Victoriana if they were made at the time, in the style characteristic of the Victorian age.

Objects that look Victorian but are not of the time—for example, a gothic-style waistcoat made in the 1990s—would not qualify as Victoriana, having been made outside the relevant period, but instead Neo-Victorian.

In science fiction circles (especially in genres like Steampunk), the word is also used loosely to describe imaginary, mock-Victorian worlds, where the look and technology of the Victorian era may sit alongside impossible machinery or fantastic creatures. At least one fantasy role-playing game calls itself "Victoriana", and involves a scrollworked, brassy, steam-powered fantasy world.

A vestige of Victorian pre-psychiatry or character assessment is the persistence of Phrenology.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Victoriana" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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