Continued from Victorian era entertainment part 1
Reading was an important entertainment
Literature like novels written by Charles Dickens, William Thackeray and others, theatre, drama, music, arts, opera, gambling, drinking and prostitution were another sources of entertainment.
Singing and dancing
Singing was a form of entertainment wherein everyone could participate. Singing of romantic ballad was very popular in the Victorian times.
Songs like Rule Britannia which was a patriotic song and comic songs were admired. Dancing was a part of the Victorian tradition with changes as per the locality. Prince Albert and Victoria are to be credited to popularize dance and music.
Waltz and Polka were popular forms of dancing.
Sports were popular entertainment
During the Victorian period, there was week called Derby week where people from social classes came together. The Derby week was a fair and a race week held in the month of May or June. In 1859 there was a snowfall during the Derby week. It was the only time when snow had fallen during this event.
Another form of entertainment popular then was the Roller-Skating. Water sports like rowing and canoeing were favourite pastime activities. The fact that women actively took part in almost every sport like men, a need was felt to design proper outfits that would be comfortable while playing. Rowing for men also included taking part in competitions but in the case of women, it was only for exercise and pleasure.
Horse riding was an activity which proved to be expensive for many and thus only the rich could afford it. The first International Exhibition was held in 1851 and was promoted by Prince Albert. In this exhibition, people from all classes were permitted. Fairs were a common form of entertainment for the Victorian people. However, the first special fair was held in the Hyde Park.
It was during the Victorian period that Circus became a commercialized form of entertainment. This led to the huge demand for circus. The circus activities included Chinese jugglers, clowns, acrobats, performances by children, etc. Though these acts were loved by the people, they were nonetheless regarded as monstrous or dangerous.