Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The BBC is useful for something...

... and this mainly includes providing employment for my more talented friends: the Penny Dreadfuls now have their own page, in preparation for their impending radio show. I particularly liked a couple of Humphrey's answers.
Why does the Victorian era appeal to you so much?

Humphrey: It was the last period in British history, when people still really believed in both science and magic. Plus it was period in which Britain still led the world in just about every conceivable facet of life from the arts and industry to insanity and superstition. Top stuff.
...

Who is your favourite Victorian and why?

Humphrey: Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He perfectly embodies the Victorians' greatest quality: boundless confidence in their own ability.

And yet I don't really remember being taught anything about the Victorian age at school: I shouldn't think that an period of British history in which we achieved so much is something that our statist bastard governments would want on the curriculum.

After all, it might give us ideas above our station. Like the idea that we are, in fact, a great nation and do not need to be shackled to the EU in order to make our own way in the world...

2 comments:

The Ludingtonian said...

DK -

If you're not already familiar with "The Difference Engine", by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, I strongly urge you to hunt down a copy. Steam-punk at its very best.

Anonymous said...

Are we really that different from the Victorians?

That era was typified by the rise of the middle class, who carried a unquestioning belief in the righteousness of their solutions for domestic and foreign problems. They introduced the centralising state for example in pensions and education. There's a direct linage from the Webers to Toynbee, from Livingstone to Geldoff.

The world is still living through the fallout of idiologies invented or perfected during that era - Marxism and Nationalism.