Continuing on yesterday’s history lesson, I found another excellent resource for history lovers. This one, however, focuses on Victorian London and is packed full of interesting reading material on the subject.
Victorian London.org is an archive and resource for people interested in learning more about how life was lived in the seat of the British Empire.
What is particularly interesting about this website is all the primary resources and documentations available for your perusal. There’s all kinds of topic here for your exploration, from Religion and Science to Politics and Crime. Primary resources on so many facets of Victorian life can often times be hard to get a hold of, making Victorian London.org a invaluable site for anyone interested in the historical backbone of Steampunk.
Also of interest is the website’s extensive dictionary of Victorian terminology and slang, which both writers and character actors will likely find interesting and informative.
Last weekend, I went on a glorious adventure to Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon. As a true bibliophile, this was something of a pilgrimage for me and I spent a few wonderful hours exploring the towering rows of bookcases stuffed full of books just waiting to be read.
Shopping at Powell’s, however, is not an inexpensive venture, and while I’d prefer the weight and scent of a physical book, budgetary and portability issues make the standard presentation of reading material less desirous.
There’s an excellent resource for those looking for a great science fiction read for free, complied by io9 entitled The Best Places To Find Your Next Free Book Online. There’s a great collection of books that have entered into the public domain have been carefully preserved on the internet for your costless reading pleasure and enlightenment.
Back in 2005, a book called The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana by Jess Nevins was published. Within, it chronicled what was, up to that point, important aspects of Steampunk fiction before it became overwhelmingly popular a few years later. Listed in alphabetical order as a proper encyclopedia should, the book details the most outstanding aspects of “fantastic Victoriana” in fiction from Nemo to Frankenstein.
Unfortunately, however, this volume has been out of print for sometime now, and with the current resurgence and interest in Steampunk, the remaining copies of Fantastic Victoriana are going for hundreds to thousands of dollars. Case in point: the only volume up for sale on Amazon is currently running for 2,475 USD. Guys, that’s a lot of money.
If perhaps you don’t find yourself with a grand fortune to spend on experiencing this work, you’ll be happy to know that you can read much of the information presented in the encyclopedia on Jess’s website. There, you can peruse all the entries and become better versed in the characters and features of Victorian science fiction and fantasy from before Steampunk went big.