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Victoriana are 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.
Victoriana tend 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.
- Thorncroft, Antony. Memories are made of this FT.com 29 November 2008
- Bridgeman, Harriet & Drury, Elizabeth, eds. (1975) The Encyclopaedia of Victoriana. Feltham: Hamlyn for 'Country Life'
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- --do.-- (1973) --do.-- revised ed. London: Ward Lock ISBN 0706312791
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- Woodhouse, C. P. (1970) The Victoriana Collector's Handbook. London: George Bell & Sons