Skip to main content

Histories which I learnt from “Victoria Masterpiece”


Jenna Coleman in Victoria
Victoria at Coronation

As an Indian history student, I read about queen Victoria in bad reference generally. Queen Victoria’s reign was at the time when Indians started to launch protests against British Empire. However, it was good to Queen Victoria that during her time, India was just awakening and did not roar up, otherwise her reign would be blamed to lost a big colony.

First reference I read about Queen Victoria in Indian history, when Queen of Jhansi sent her English lawyer to put the case before queen Victoria about the legitimacy of Jhansi’s heir. Second reference was about “Delhi Darbar” which was held in 1877 when a lot of money was spent in the preparation of program, while on the other side, people were dying in Madras famine. 

Delhi darbar
Depiction of Delhi Darbar

These two references and other literature depicting the cruelty of Britishers was enough to create hate against the queen and her empire.

However, the series “Victoria” changed this perception against queen Victoria a little. After watching scary, bloody, horrified and unnecessary nude content of Vikings and then Vampire Diaries, I was in search of a calm and beautiful series, and “Victoria” ended my search.

It was first series which I watched in just three days, also this was first series which gave me “Show fever” (a type of attachment which you feel towards a show and cannot stop to think about that show). Also, this series gave me too much information and knowledge about British history. Many of which I already read as a student of History, English literature, political science and also law.

Every episode of Victoria discusses about a major historical event of her reign. It is better to categorize this knowledge/history in following heads-

1.      Personal life of Queen Victoria

In the series, Queen Victoria was shown as a lady of present day who was advocate of women rights and depicted as logical, intelligent lady who took every decision in such a way which people of present time might expect from her. Her life was depicted very beautifully. We saw royal ball, court proceeding, the coronation and wedding of Victoria, and also her personal differences with other characters.  

The most beautiful romance which Victoria fans (including me) loved too much, was of Victoria and her first prime minister “Lord Melbourne”. Lord Melbourne performed his character with so much grace that people become obsessed with his character and named this relationship “Vicbourne”.  

Queen Victoria and lord Melbourne
Queen Victoria and Lord Melbourne

An irony with the show was that Victoria does not want children in the show, (as modern day woman might want), despite of this, she become the mother of nine children. In writer’s excitement to show her as present day woman, they forgot that she was the lady of 19th century.

2.      Slavery bill in Victoria’s reign

Episode 6 of season 2 is dedicated to the slavery bill which was introduced to end the slavery in American countries. After the arrival of a negro Barret in Britain, who escaped from the paws of slavery and britishers’ determination to wash out slavery, introduced the slavery bill in parliament. We saw that Queen Victoria and palace was in agreement to end slavery. And it was also Prince albert’s first public speech (according to series) which he gave in support of slavery bill. 


Slavery bill in England
Prince Albert giving speech in Parliament

And, finally slavery bill passed.

3.      Potato Famine

Episode 6 of season 2 covers “Potato famine of Ireland’. This was time of disease and great hunger in Ireland. Millions of people died with hunger and diseases, those who were lucky, fled to America. We see that protestant government of England was not in favor to help catholic people of Ireland. Robert Trail a peer from Ireland wrote a letter in newspaper to describe the worst situation which queen Victoria also read and invited him to suggest what could be done to help people. 


Robert Trail in Victoria
Robert Trail discussing with Queen Victoria

And ultimately, Trail also died with typhus while helping people in famine.

4.      England was not too rich

In “Victoria” we see two types of England. A rich England which had royal family and people of high birth and other one which was too poor where people were living the life like hell. People spending their lives in harsh winter without proper clothing and food. In the series, we see many scenes when poverty of English people was depicted. 

Poverty in England during Victoian period


5.      Cholera Outbreak

The episode (Episode 4 of Season 3) which covered the Cholera Outbreak was too heart breaking because it also killed the main and kind character of “Victoria”, the character of Nancy Skerrett, the dress designer and hair dresser of Queen Victoria. 


Skerret death in victoria
Skerret at Death-bed

We see that cholera outbroke in the “Soho” due to the polluted water. Many people were died and then a doctor discussed the causes of this outbreak with Victoria which helped her to remove the cause of disease.

With these historical events, I also learned about beautiful brocket hall of Lord Melbourne, Cheswick institute which had the duty to send its best dresser to Queen Victoria, parliament and queen court's proceedings, the dynasty of prince albert and English attitude towards foreigners, relations of English royalty with German and France, the invention of computer by Charles babaz and lady Lovelace, incident of lady flora scandal, bed chamber incident where queen denied to change her ladies in waiting and also the chartist movement which I also read in my political science books, this movement furthered the way for universal suffrage in England. 

A morning post about lady flora's scandal

It is true that “Victoria’ does not present accurate history because it is not a documentary. But at least, it gives us glimpse to the major histories of her reign and if we want to read it further, we can google that. First season wholly dedicated in settling the personal life of queen Victoria, second and third seasons revolves around historical events. Last but not the least, the title music of the series “Gloriana Halleluja” is luxury to the ears.



Trending at AbabeelFolks

Mahakta Aachal: A digest or a healing drug?

  November 1999 Edition of Mahakta Aanchal, Photo by @ababeelclicks   When I was a child the first digest I was acquainted with, was “Mahakta Aanchal”.  A digest which was famous among Muslim ladies so much. People were crazy about it and they still are. I can recall the memory when my aunt had many of these Digests, and I could say those were read by many ladies.  Mahakta Aanchal is such a drug that people afraid if they will start to read they will be addicted of it. There are like madness for it. A person could forget everything for it. If a person buys a copy of this digest it could not be limited to that person, it will go into the hand of many people. If a person buys it, it will read by minimum of 10 people, it will go minimum of 10 houses. It will read by all those persons who read it. I have 11 editions of mahakta Aanchal, and I can say these would have read by everyone in my family, every friend or relative of my family members, who read it. People especially asks from thei

What is Naswar and Why Pashtoon Consume Naswar too much?

  It is said that literature is the mirror of society but in modern times, cinema has taken the place of literature and cinema become the mirror of society. However, cinema could not be the right mirror of society because cinema maker need to maintain their financial interest and in doing so, they compromise the actual image of mirror and show mis-interpreted facts. When we watch cinema of our country we can detect the mistakes in cinema when it is about our country but when we watch the cinema of another country we generally assume that they are showing the right facts about their society. Recently, I watched the popular series of Pakistan “suno chanda” which is available at YouTube and is a comedy romantic family drama. It was recommended by YouTube, friends, and “khuda aur Muhabbat’s” comment section. I enjoyed it a lot and learned many things about Pakistan; for example- its geography, states, their languages, their culture including the introduction of “naswar”. Drama shows

The story of Blaghal ula Bekamalihi

  Blaghal-ula-bikamilhi is a very popular verse in Indian sub-continent. It was written in the form of rubai by Sheikh Saadi Shirazi.   Later on it was adopted by musician of Indian sub-continent when they performed it in the form of qwwali. It was first performed by great qwwals “sabri brothers” late Sabri Brothers, Ghulam Farid Sabri (1930-1994) and Maqbool Ahmed Sabri (1945-2011), from Pakistan in the form of qwwali. And then the world’s greatest qwwal “nusrat fateh ali khan” also performed it in their mesmerizing voice. The best version of this qwwali is (in the sense of modern audio quality) is Abida Parveen’s (queen of Sufi music) performance for coke studio. Abida Praveen   This is sung by almost every “naatkhawan” (naat means poetry in the praise of Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) and natkhawan is the person who read naats) of Indian sub-conti