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Level X

History – Death and Mourning in Georgian and Victorian England: fascinating rituals and customs – 1 Saturday/Autumn Term


For those who are interested in the lengthy and intricate rituals associated with death, grief and mourning which played an intricate and symbolic role, especially in Victorian life. There is nothing macabre and the customs are fascinating and intriguing.

Death was a regular occurrence and not feared. Although less rigid in the Regency period, mourning was filled with complex rituals and lasted a long time – two years and a day for a widow (sometimes 3 years in the Georgian period), and rarely less than a year for children. Customs associated with mourning include stopping the clocks at the precise time of death and covering all mirrors.

Death and mourning spawned much industry, especially in the Victorian era: clothing, jewellery, teapots, ceramics, stationery, photography and everything associated with undertaking. The Brighton General Mourning Warehouse was situated at 15, Old Steine.

Illustrated with powerpoint slideshows -; plus a rare opportunity to view the short b&w film “Dido’;s Lament: Victorian Rituals of Death and Mourning”, screened at Komedia cinema (Brighton) and elsewhere; co-written and produced by the tutor with award-winning director Valentina Lari.

Tutor: Sarah Tobias. This course runs on a Saturday morning 1100-1500

N.B. History courses may contain outdated attitudes, cultural depictions and language which cause offence today. They have to be viewed from an historic perspective. When discussing the content these views are not those of the tutor.


Suitable for all abilities


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