Victorian romanticism

hands Victoria_and_her_cousin,_1852 copy

From her accession to the throne in 1837  until the death of her beloved Albert in 1861,  the young Queen Victoria was the model of romantic love, marriage, and motherhood in the mid-ninteenth century western world. Her example resonated especially with elite young women in the antebellum South. Beginning with her 1840 white satin wedding dress and orange-blossom hair-wreath, her choices in dress, jewelry, and hair styles caught on quickly in American fashion through magazines like Godey’s Lady’s BookHer court’s revival of medievalism  exemplified in fancy dress balls, hunts and games — translated, in the Old South, into courtly displays at chivalric tournaments. Eliza Harwood and Tristrim Skinner regularly attended such summer events at Fauquier Springs, Virginia.



Queen Victoria and her first cousin, Victoria, the Duchess of Nemours, 1852, by Franz Xaver Winterhalter. Royal Collection, Queen Elizabeth II.