In many ways the Victorian Era is not as different as one might initially expect, though there—of course—have been many social improvements since those times. Individuals of Victorian England had, as we do today, a strong attachment to media entertainment. Just as many American anxiously await the release of new episodes of television shows weekly, Victorian England was similarly riveted through weekly installments from a wide variety of periodicals of the time that too were released on daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. Fans were riveted for the next installment of works like Oliver Twist, The Moonstone, and other such works that have in modern times been compiled into united novels. A particularly popular one of these periodicals was Household Words beginning at the second half of the nineteenth century.
Household Words was one of the most popular periodicals of its time and came to be a place, along with its latter replacement All the Year Round, to find the best up-and-coming literary works. Household Words was edited by the already famous Charles Dickens (The Guardian), which only added to the periodical’s appeal, and he so domineered the periodical that author’s names were not written only “Conducted by Charles Dickens” emblazoned on the top of each page (Household Words 145). The weekly periodical was created in 1850 and lasted until 1859 when Charles Dickens began to have disputes with the publishers; following said disputes, Charles Dickens began his own periodical—for which he had 50 percent ownership—called All the Year Round (The Guardian). The article was developed for a middle class audience with a small portion of disposable income with each weekly article costing a tuppenny (The Guardian), writing styles were not as complex as periodicals focused for upper-class victorians, and focused in part on social discussions of present news as well socially relevant fiction—a particularly good example of this form being magazine number 386, released on August 15, 1857.
This particular is very important in context of its historical placement. Two months previously the imperial hold on India was challenged for the first time through rebellion. One begins to see the discussion of concepts like imperialism and questions of who is truly to blame in several within literary commentary. This periodical includes the following small works: “The Star of Bethlehem” by Henry Morley
“My Window” by Harriet Parr
“A Mutiny in India” by Edward Townsend
“A Queen's Revenge” by Wilkie Collins
“Chip: A School for Cooks” by W. H. Wills
“The Rinderpest, or Steppe Murrain” by Samuel Sidney
“Doctor Garrick” by Percy Hetherington Fitzgerald
Each of these works had very different motives. The factual, articles were “The Star of Bethlehem,” “Chip: A School for Cooks,” and “The Rinderpest, or Steppe Murrain.” The Star of Bethlehem” discussed the historical origins of Royal Bethlem Hospital and how the light of hope—or star—could not be...