Smiling Victorians

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Smiling Victorians at the Beach | Smiling Victorians | Dear Doodle

Have you ever seen a picture of a smiling Victorian? When I stumbled across a collection of jovial snapshots from the 19th century I suddenly realised I never had! And why not? There must have been times when “one” was amused by all-in-one stripey swimwear or enjoyed a titter or two over ludicrously disproportionate bicycles. But those moments were rarely captured on film. Instead we are familiar with stern faces and stiff upper lips glaring into the camera lens, a little like this…

Stern Victorian Woman | Smiling Victorians | Dear Doodle

At a time when taking a photo was a far from simple process, where one had to remain perfectly still with one’s grin plastered onto one’s face for at least three seconds, it appears that most Victorians took a more dignified approach and omitted their smiles. In an age of megawatt Hollywood grins where we hound the Kristen Stewarts of this world for refusing to ‘look happy’ all the time, we would be forgiven for thinking that the Victorians had no fun. And that is exactly why I enjoy this collection of photos: they succeed in capturing brief moments of hilarity that would otherwise have gone by unnoticed, highlighting the personalities of these individuals rather than the history they represent. Here are another couple of favourites and you can check out the rest of the collection by following this link.

Smiling Victorian Woman | Smiling Victorians | Dear Doodle

Smiling Victorian Women | Smiling Victorians | Dear Doodle

Smiling Victorian Couple | Smiling Victorians | Dear Doodle

Smiling Victorian Boy | Smiling Victorians

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