Difference Between Edwardian and Victorian

Edwardian vs Victorian

Edwardian and Victorian are two different eras in British history, rather monarchy that have left indelible marks on many aspects of life including art, culture, architecture, and even fashion. Victorian era precedes Edwardian era as Queen Victoria was the mother of King Edward VII and also the Queen of England. Victorian era falls in between the Edwardian era and the Georgian era. Many people find it difficult to differentiate between Victorian and Edwardian eras as there were overlapping because of the two personalities sharing an intimate relationship of mother and son. This article attempts to highlight the differences between the two eras.

Victorian Era

Victorian era is said to have started with Queen Victoria’s ascension to throne in 1837 and continued till her death in 1901. While it is true that eras are counted based upon personality in power or the achievements or monuments made under the rule of a personality, it is difficult to bind Victorian era strictly in the years that she was the queen of England. This is because of the fact that many aspects of the preceding Georgian era continued to have their effect during the Victorian era, as well.

The spirit of exploration and scientific discovery dominated the Victorian era. The people in this era were interested in unraveling the mysteries of nature. There was also a clear shift towards humanitarianism with influential people talking about social equality and the society undergoing changes with the abolition of slavery and introduction of women’s suffrage. However, the period of Queen Victoria is also remembered for sobriety and a sort of prudish formality that marked royal events and ceremonies.

As far as fashion is concerned, women’s clothing was prudish in the Victorian era, and though they characterized feminine styles, many a times clothes felt uncomfortable for women. The corsets were tight and uncomfortable with women being required to wear many petticoats.

Victorian era is marked by many scientific inventions and discoveries such as the light bulb, telephone, automobile, sewing machine, and even the bicycle.

Edwardian Era

Edwardian era is said to have begun with his ascension to throne in 1901 and continued till his death in 1910. However, the essence and spirit of the decade continued till much later in English society. So much so, that the trends of art and culture in the Edwardian era can be seen even during the reign of King George V, his successor. The same effects could be felt during the last 6 years of the Victorian era when the Queen was seen much less among the public, and her son and heir Edward VII had assumed control unofficially.

In terms of propriety and royal formality, Edwardian era is characterized by lifting of somberness and haughtiness. The campaign for social equality gained momentum and there was a much more pronounced emphasis on helping the poor and the needy.

There was a marked shift in women’s clothing which became much more feminine with hour glass shape being visible in the dresses of this era. In terms of science and technology the inventions made during the previous era were not only put to better use, but there were many more inventions in Edwardian era, as well.

What is the difference between Edwardian and Victorian Eras?

• Victorian era is said to have continued from 1837 to 1901 and lasted the reign of Queen Victoria whereas Edwardian era started in 1901 with his ascension to the throne and lasted till 1910 till his death.

• Victorian era is believed to be more conservative than Edwardian era.

• Royal somberness and haughtiness was somewhat lifted in Edwardian era.

• Women’s clothing became more feminine in Edwardian era to reveal hourglass shape whereas Victorian women’s clothing was long and tight.

• The inventions made during Victorian era became much more widespread during Edwardian era.