Dig Deeper - A View Into Victorian Life


Next up on the stage for Lyric Arts is A Christmas Carol:  A Ghost Story of Christmas - adapted by Michael Wilson from the classic novel by Charles Dickens.  Raised as the second of eight children in a family struggling to survive the tremendous economic shifts taking place in Britain during the Victorian era (1837 - 1901), Dickens' own life experiences were reflected in his writing.  While his father was in debtor's prison, 12-yr old Dickens was forced to leave school to work at a boot-blacking factory earning six shillings a week.  At age 15 he had to drop out again and work as an office boy to contribute to his family’s income.  After he became a successful novelist, Dickens toured the world to promote his books, but also took advantage of his celebrity status to advocate for social and economic reforms and for an end to slavery. As part of the partnership between Lyric Arts Main Street Stage and the Anoka County Library, the resource librarians have provided a wonderful list of books available in their catalog about the everyday Victorian life experienced by the characters in A Christmas Carol.  Check out the titles below, find more in our Audience Guide, and we'll see you at the theater!


How to Be a Victorian: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Victorian Life:  Ruth Goodman believes in getting her hands dirty. Drawing on her own adventures living in re-created Victorian conditions, Goodman serves as our bustling and fanciful guide to nineteenth-century life.

Inventing the Victorians:  Matthew Sweet provides a compact and mind-bending whirlwind tour through the soul of the nineteenth century, and a round debunking of our assumptions about it.

The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens’ London:  From Judith Flanders, the critically acclaimed author of The Invention of Murder, comes an extraordinary, revelatory portrait of everyday life on the streets of Dickens’ London.

What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist--The Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England:  Author Daniel Pool provides countless intriguing details on the Church of England, sex, Parliament, dinner parties, country house visiting, and a host of other aspects of nineteenth-century English life—both “upstairs” and “downstairs."