9.11.20

5 Films That Will Transport You Back to the Victorian Era


The Victorian era, which spanned from June 20, 1837, to January 22, 1901, has frequently been chosen as the setting for great stories - and for good reason! Amidst the industrial revolution, social reform, and an exceptional era for fashion and aesthetics, the Victorian period provides the perfect backdrop for a wide variety of curious tales.

Whether you're eager to delve into a Victorian murder mystery, be transported to a magical world, find out all about Victorian jewellery and fashion, or indulge in the royal politics of the time, there's a perfect period drama out there for you! 

Read on to discover some of our favourite period dramas that are sure to transport you back to the mysterious and exciting Victorian era.

Enola Holmes (2020)
Did you know that Sherlock had a sister? Or, at least, he did according to novelist Nancy Springer, who first introduced us to Enola Holmes in her 2006 young adult novel. In the film adaptation of her Enola Holms series, the audience is taken in by the world of Victorian England and the mysteries that Sherlock's mischievous kid sister sets out to solve. 

The star-studded cast, including Helena Bonham Carter and Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown, does an exceptional job of reimagining Victorian London and drawing the viewer into Enola's quest to track down her missing mother.

Alice in wonderland (2010)
Pretty much everyone is already familiar with the story of Alice in Wonderland, either through reading Lewis Carroll's original book or watching the 1951 Disney classic. The 2010 adaptation of the timeless novel, starring Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hathaway, and Helena Bonham Carter does an excellent job of reimagining the Victorian era, if through the lens of a surreal fantasy adventure. 

Within this playful film, the character of Alice actively rebels against the role and behaviours expected of young women in the Victorian era, showing how non-conformity can take you on the most curious of adventures. 

Victoria and Abdul (2017)
This feel-good film, starring Ali Fazal and Judi Dench, offers a funny and heart-warming insight into the real-life relationship between Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and her Indian Muslim servant Abdul Karim.

Judi Dench has been commended for her shrewd, cantankerous ageing Queen Victoria, and the unlikely friendship between the two main characters is sure to bring a smile to your face. For an insight into the late Victorian era, and a true, yet little known, tale about the beloved monarch, look no further than Victoria and Abdul. 

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
Are you looking for something a little darker? Then you'll love Tim Burton's 2007 film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Tony Award-winning 1979 musical, ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’. This all-singing, all-dancing slasher film offers a gothic insight into the dark and murderous world of Victorian England. If you're looking for a period drama with a dark edge, or something a bit spookier, then this is the perfect pick for you!

The Young Victoria (2009)
Finally, for anyone particularly interested in the early years of Queen Victoria's reign, the 2009 period drama, The Young Victoria, is an excellent choice. Starring Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend as Victoria and Albert, this film is an excellent portrayal of the early Victorian era. 

The script was written by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and plenty of research was done to ensure that the film was as historically accurate as possible. Described by the Empire to be an “elegant, entertaining, informative picture with a gallery of vivid supporting turns”, this is certainly not one to miss for any Victorian enthusiast!

Whatever genre you’re looking for, there’s a Victorian period drama perfect for you. Just sit back, relax, and prepare to be transported back in time through the power of film!

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