Victorian Bookshop

In my Victorian Bookshop I will be featuring some of my books and other items with links to the Victorian era.

Trust In God, & Keep Your Powder Dry


You've probably seen the sort of album that has pages for your friends to answer questions about themselves. I have an album of that sort with questions answered in the 1890s and 1900s. I would guess that the album was started by a teacher (Maria G.), and that the other entries are by student teachers based in the London area. The album contains some very interesting answers that shed light on leisure interests and other concerns at that time. I have used the opinions in the album to create Trust In God, & Keep Your Powder Dry. This book is a "must" for anyone interested in social history.

You can see an example of the opinions here.

I showed the book to a friend. "Mmm, very interesting," he said. "When was it first published?" He assumed, wrongly, that I had copied the text from a previously published book. These opinions are taken from a hand-written book, never previously published.

In case you are wondering, the title of the book is the favourite motto of one of the contributors to the album!

The cover illustration is based on a thumb-nail sized sketch in the original album.

The album offers a fascinating glimpse into the interests of "normal" people of the time. Dip into the book and discover examples of contemporary humour, such as in some of the answers to the question " Who is the greatest living composer?" Find out which respondents mentioned medicines; and find out who replied " Not having taken their measure I cannot tell."

The title of the book is Maria G.'s favourite motto.

I decided that the album was too good to remain hidden, and so present the contents for your delectation.

Old Groaners


Queen Victoria supposedly said "We are not amused". Read "Old Groaners", and you will find some of the conundrums, or riddles, that amused the Victorians.

Why do some persons believe the moon to be made of green cheese? Because of the milky whey that surrounds it.

Which is the way to make your trousers last? To make your coat and waistcoat first.

Why is a guinea in the distance not worth a penny? Because it's only a far-thing.

Why do little birds in a nest agree? Because if they did not, they would fall out.

Why is a dead doctor like a dead duck? Because he has stopped quacking.

What is worse than "raining cats and dogs"? Hailing omnibuses.

Know Your Onions Or Mrs Beeton's Hinterland


"Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management" was and is hugely popular.

"Know Your Onions" contains recipes and household hints from books and magazines published from about 1820 to the 1860s; books and magazines that may have influenced Mrs Beeton. Some of the recipes and household hints are from Samuel Beeton's "Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine" and may well have been contributed by Mrs Beeton herself.

"Know Your Onions" is a treasure trove jam-packed with old recipes and household hints. In this book you will come across such delights as:

  • how to cook and prepare a boar's head (not for the squeamish!);
  • how to pacify a cross baby;
  • how to restore rancid butter by using animal charcoal;
  • a cure for baldness;

and much, much more.

If you enjoy cookery books you will love this book.

Read more about Know Your Onions or Mrs Beeton's Hinterland on my background page.

I have added an index to give you a better idea of the contents.

And The Baboon Played Chess With The Emperor


A modern recreation of a Victorian scrapbook made up of cuttings from books and magazines published in the early to mid nineteenth century. You will come across such delights as

the artificial duck that ate, drank and quacked;

the tax on bachelors;

early attempts at ballooning;

the clever cat;

horse-racing by machinery;


powdering the hair;

early steam carriages.

And of course the baboon playing chess with an Emperor. And much, much more.

If you enjoy loitering amongst literary and historic trivia, then you will love this book.


Table Manners for Little Folks


Don't be deceived. This is not a book as such, just a short Victorian verse!

"Table Manners for Little Folks" is a verse that I found in a small hand-written book dating from about 1870. This is one of a series of Victorian items that I am adding to my Lulu pages. Currently (1 August 2007) I have made this, my first experiment with the e-book format, available as a free download.


++Victorian Poetry

I am transcribing some albums of Victorian poetry. The poems were written by a lady living in Lincolnshire, a contemporary of Tennyson, and to the best of my knowledge previously unpublished. Read an of the poetexamplery.