Monday, 15 June 2009

Was Victorian Britain a Country for Old Men ?

I've been looking round, questing, turning over stones, trying to find if this country of ours was ever a place for old men. Yesterday I peeked into Shakespeare's England and concluded that it wasn't much of a place for old men. If I dig around in the later 17th century, where the philosopher Thomas Hobbes said that life was 'short,nasty and brutish', I suspect I'll find the same.

Victorian England might be my best bet. Queen Victoria herself was on the throne for 64 years and was 82 when she died in 1901. Improvements in living standards meant people were living longer and although men dominated society, I have the feeling that old men and women were both given respect in a way that they are not today, namely because they were old.

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