What is Victorian Lowbrow?
Pronunciation Key (vk-tôr-n lbrou)
1. Of, relating to, or belonging to the period of the reign of Queen Victoria and being uncultivated; vulgar; characteristic of a person who is not cultivated or does not have intellectual tastes.
2. Being in the highly ornamented, massive style of architecture, decor, and furnishings popular in 19th-century England while at the same time being quite immoral for the higher classes i.e. local pub, dime museum, brothel, sideshow, music halls.
n. A person belonging to or exhibiting characteristics typical of the Victorian period having uncultivated tastes, wanting instead to associate with all aspects of an uncouth lower class society.
The Victorian Era was not only about Royalty, the Gentry and Upper Crust High Society, but also about the lower working classes who's taste were more than a little less refined, if not even downright coarse. Victorian Lowbrow would be defined in terms of:
Sideshows and the Elephant Man, Victorian era tattooed ladies, strange medical exhibits, dime museums and East End shows, the cult of death and the funeral rituals of the lower classes, pubs, bars and saloons, public executions, titillating scandals involving death and betrayal, morbid legends such as Jack the Ripper and Lizzie Borden, the penny dreadful, Victorian drugs such as Opium dens, Absinthe rituals & Wormwood deliriums, Morphine syringes sold to High Society women, Chloral Hydrate fiends, Laudanum addicts, Secret Hashish Societies, laughing gas parties, and patent medicines. Also drinking one's cups, cocktails and grogs, Coach Inns and Night Houses, smoking pipes and cigarettes, morbid little jump rope songs, violent Punch and Judy puppet shows, Penny gaffs, the resurrectionists, graveyard picnics, and etc. The term Victorian Lowbrow was created specifically to describe the work of Madame Talbot's artwork.