How did the English entertain themselves before the invention of radio, television and smartphones? If you think that all what they did was reading and communication, then you are wrong. The fantasy of those who lived in Victorian England was not limited by that. Introducing the top 10 strange entertainment of that time.
Top ten weird entertainment in Victorian England
10. Hunting for fern. In the XIX century, gardening or herb collection was considered trendy in England. Exotic plants were grown in greenhouses, gardens were filled with flowers. By 1855, the Victorian society was overcome by the endemic interest in collecting and cultivating fern. Hunting for fern was considered exciting and dangerous, and was in fashion until the beginning of the XX century.
9. The Shadow Theater. In 1887, Henri Riviere created the Theater d'Ombres in the famous district of Paris - Montmartre. People loved such shows. The theater of shadows is a usual play using a cloth, a flashlight and objects of different shapes.
8. Fortune-telling. Fortune-telling on tea leaves, reading the palm and a good old crystal ball - all these was used by Victorians to look into the future. Mostly the young maidens entertained themselves this way, who wanted to learn something about future husbands so much. Also, dice, apples, nuts, mirrors, candles and wax, playing cards, seeds, coins, fruit cakes, warts and dead people were used for fortune-telling.
7. Taxidermy. Taxidermy is a very specific activity, but people liked it. Of course, most liked to deal not so much with the creation of stuffed animals, but as with collection of them.
6. Pornography. Pornography appeared almost at the same time when camera. In the XIX century, literature and photographs of erotic content could be bought only clandestinely. Books on this topic were over-saturated with the description of a variety of orgies, scenes from BDSM, taking place in some pretty decent places - for example, in a girls' school.
5. Cabinet of Curiosities. Many rich people of that time collected strange objects: such as animal and human bones, heads in cans, antique weapons and much more. As a result, exhibitions of such unusual and strange things were created, which people liked very much.
4. Hypnosis sessions. In those days, people were very fond of mysticism and often arranged hypnosis sessions. Hypnotists who performed on the streets, basically compelled the subjects that they did not feel pain and pierced the forearms with the surgical needles to the delight of the audience. Passersby were readily volunteered to participate in such performances to entertain friends.
3. Mourning. In the Victorian times, the British, with pleasure mourned the dead and held funeral ceremonies. At the same time, the tradition of photographing with the dead was widespread. For such events, special clothes, jewelries and even cookies were produced.
2. "Unwrapping" the mummy. In those days, there was a lot of excavation in Egypt, so there were themed entertainments in Britain - "unwrapping" mummies. Usually, citizens attended lectures and exhibitions, where self-proclaimed experts conducted analysis of mummies purchased at auctions. Travelers who came from Egypt, also sometimes brought mummies with them, but did not give them to the auction, and "unwrapped" in the family circle, so to say.
1. Spiritual seances. Love for the mystic reflected in the spiritualistic sessions, during which the English tried to contact their deceased relatives. Mediums were mostly women. It was believed that they are more sensitive, and therefore they better suited for communication with the other world. But as soon as mystical services became generously paid, the number of fraudsters increased.