Online Exhibition: Famous Victorians


The Saffron Walden Town library contains several hundred biographies of famous Victorians, some written at the time and some later. Some people who were famous during the period are almost forgotten now and vice versa. The Victorians were more interested in the biographies of clergymen, missionaries and Judges than most people are today but our collection includes biographies of actors and musicians along with the politicians, artists, writers and social reformers that might be expected. The photos on these pages are taken from two books in the Town Library collection: Portraits of Men of Eminence in Literature, Science and Art, with Biographical Memoirs edited by Lovell Reeve, with photographs by Ernest Edwards. (London, Lovell Reeve, 1863-7).

Queen Victoria herself reigned from 1837-1901. Her husband, Prince Albert (who was her German cousin), was called a consort, because he was married to the Queen but did not rule himself. Royalty were very popular and well respected during the period.

© Saffron Walden Town Library Society, 2004 & 2015


Engineers: Sir Joseph Bazalgette, (1819-1891)
Scientists: Charles Darwin, (1809-1822)
Scientists: Michael Faraday, (1791-1867)
Scientists: Admiral Robert Fitzroy (1805-1865)
Communications reformers: Sir Rowland Hill (1795-1879)
Geologists and Palaeontologists: Sir Richard Owen (1805-1892)
Artists: John Everett Millais (1829-1896)
Medicine and Physicians: Mary Blackwell, (1821-1910)
Travellers and Explorers: Sir Richard Frances Burton, (1821-1890)
Writers: Charles Dickens, (1812-1870)
Politicians: Benjamin Disraeli, (1804-1881)
Social reformers: Bessie Parkes, (1829-1925)
Historians: James Anthony Froude, (1818-1894)
Religious leaders: Frederick Dennison Maurice, (1805-1872)
Naturalists: William Jackson Hooker (1785-1865)

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