Victoria Britain was one of my heart-throb history eras as a child; I lapped up anything that harked back to Dickensian times or just after. I loved stories from when kids were either banged up in the workhouse or an orphanage or held hostage in the nursery at the top of the house. I loved stories of scullery maids and the days when the world was harsh but being right and true brought rewards in the end.
I’d definitely have been delighted to get to dressed up like this.
In fact, if my childhood had looked like that, I would have imagined myself pretty happy!
Life is not, of course, quite how it is in your imagination. For some reason we never really ‘did’ the Victorians when we were home educating, so this week the arrival of a box of dressing up and a film set during the Victorian era seems like a good opportunity to plug the hole in their education.
Victorian Era Children’s Books I loved:
- The Little Princess
- The Secret Garden
- Black Beauty
- The Phoenix & the Carpet (I think this is possible straying into Edwardian though)
- Treasure Island
- Hetty Feather
- The Ruby in the Smoke
- Lizzie’s Wish
- Mill Girl
Victorian Era Films:
- Nanny McPhee
- Oliver Twist
- Sherlock Holmes
- Various films of the books above!
Victorian Education Websites:
All this made me dig out a put together Victorian Paper House from my home ed archives – somewhat to my surprise, Fran is currently sat on the floor making it!
The Adventurer : The Curse of the Midas Box
Much of this was triggered by being sent this film to review. After a busy week, we watched it this weekend after a photo shoot for Josie to look ridiculously gorgeous in Victorian clothing. Sadly, I found myself watching it along by half way through as it didn’t grab the attention of any of the kids for very long. Still I don’t often get a chance for uninterrupted film watching, so a quiet afternoon in the living room was quite pleasant.
The cast for the film is amazing (Martin Sheen, Sam Neill and Keeley Hawes to name but a few) and it is gorgeous to look at, full of Victoriana and Steampunk. The acting veered between good (both lads and Martin Sheen who has the most insanely rubbery face; I didn’t even recognise him in disguise when I knew he was in it!) and just way too hammy for comfort. The effects were amazing and fitted the era beautifully but somehow the script and storyline failed to grab me. Perhaps it wasn’t even that so much as the pace of the film; it seemed more paced like films of my own childhood but without the detail to make that worthwhile. It was too slow and with not enough meaningful plot to really engage. While in lots of ways it had elements of Sherlock, Wild Wild West and The Mummy (particularly the last) it just didn’t quite fill the boots of any of them. I couldn’t make myself care about the characters enough and a combination of oddly quiet sound and lots of very similar looking male leads just flummoxed me beyond really feeling engaged.
I guess the fact that beyond “it was a bit like The Mummy”, I can’t really tell you what it was about; I never felt quite like I knew.
So I looked at it – and it was very pretty. Clearly there is every intention of a sequel as the plot line and ending was very much geared to that and I hope, I really hope, that they’ll address some of the issues and do a tighter second one because both cast and style was phenomenal.
Disclosure: we were sent a review copy and costume box Opinions, clearly, are my own.