Add a Review

  • I caught one episode of this series when it was shown on the Discovery Channel in the U.S., back when the Discovery Channel was still devoted to intelligent documentaries in science and the social sciences.

    The episodes were arranged thematically, with each one covering a specific aspect of Victorian society and how the values that people held played out in everyday life. I happened to see the one on Poverty.

    The Victorians believed that poverty was caused by laziness and lack of virtue (sound familiar?), so they were quite upfront about treating poverty as if it were a crime. The program described the harsh (and, to our minds, unhelpful!) fate that befell the long-term unemployed who didn't want to turn to actual crime.

    That one episode, illustrated with period drawings and photographs, like a Ken Burns documentary, was so fascinating that I wish I could have seen the rest. However, it's not out on either VHS or DVD. I hope Granada Television releases it on DVD.