Victorian Television

What would Queen Victoria have watched on television?

To show you, I need to take you into the world of late-Victorian and Edwardian family magazines. The nearest modern equivalent would be television and the parallels are striking:

a strong visual element and a family-centred audience;

a regular diet of fiction and features;

series, serials and one-off pieces;

comedy, tragedy, romance and adventure;

social comment, travelogue, science and natural history;

celebrities and competitions.

The weekly Clarion polled its readers to find “Britain’s Greatest Benefactor” much the same as the BBC once did. The bizarre articles of Tit-Bits such¬† as “Celebrated people whose mothers have been buried alive” would probably be more at home ona cable network. It is as if a voice from the past is calling to current TV producers – “I’m a celebrity’s mother, get me out of here”.

What would Victoria have watched?

And would she have been amused?