Victorian Popular Culture

source material relating to popular entertainment in America, Britain and Europe in the period from 1779 to 1930. Spiritualism, Sensation and Magic explores the relationship between the popularity of Victorian magic shows and conjuring tricks and the emergence of séances and psychic phenomena in Britain and America. Circuses, Sideshows and Freaks focuses on the world of travelling entertainment, which brought spectacle to vast audiences across Britain, American and Europe in the 19th and early 20th century. From big tops to carnivals, fairgrounds and dime museums, it covers the history of popular shows and exhibitions from both audience and professional perspectives. Music Hall, Theatre and Popular Entertainment features material on music halls; theatre (legitimate and illegitimate); pantomime; pleasure gardens; exhibitions; scientific institutions, and visual delights such as magic lanterns shows and dioramas. Moving Pictures, Optical Entertainments and the Advent of Cinema provides thorough coverage of Victorian and Edwardian visual entertainments, early optics, magic lantern shows, panoramas, dioramas, early photography, and early motion pictures.

Scope: