But, as Cracked has mentioned before, the idea of the Victorians as prudes isn't borne out by the facts. This perception was largely started by a group of intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Group, which included the famous economist John Maynard Keynes, writer E.M. Forster, and the legendary wordsmith Virginia Woolf. They were cool.
National Portrait Gallery
"You can't sit with us."
They wanted to set themselves apart from the previous generation's way of thinking and show that they weren't stuck in the past, maaan. It's not that the Victorians were stuffy and sexless; it's that every young creative thinks their parents are stuffy and sexless. This too-cool-for-old-school clique's most famous member was Woolf, who attacked the values of her elders through her writing and took pride in her generation's supposed rejection of them. Like so many before them, the Bloomsbury Group sought to bill themselves as progressive by knocking the olds.
Her first novel was called IF IT'S TOO LOUD, YOU'RE TOO OLD!!!
Woolf characterized the Victorian era as gloomy and repressed in her well-known novel, Orlando. She portrays the time period as ridiculous, overly concerned with arbitrary rules of propriety, and overall joyless in all aspects of life, especially marriage. Quote: "Couples trudged and plodded in the middle of the road indissolubly linked together."
National Archives and Records Administration
"We use this for sex."
Not only were the Victorians not prudes, they also weren't total right-wing religious killjoys. During the Victorian era, church attendance was at about 50 percent, and as low as 19 percent in urban areas (where fewer people will rat you out to your mom for skipping church to play Dark Souls III). That's a high number compared to today, but it's nothing like the homogenized uptight churchgoers we envision when we think of the late 1800s.
This idea has survived to present-day thanks to the 1960s. The writings of Virginia Woolf and other members of the Bloomsbury Group were rediscovered by people who came of age after World War II, who were disenchanted with the Vietnam War, committed to feminism, and eager to cast off the repressive mindset of their parents' generation. They felt a kinship with Woolf, who spoke so negatively of compulsory marriage and male-dominated society. It's like if you found someone's diary about how they hated their parents and said, "You're right: I hate my parents, too! And I will use your diary to prove it."
Department of Defense
"Have you ever read Mrs. Dalloway?"
So there you go: If you want to create a story that will withstand the test of time, first and foremost it must be something that people really want to believe.
Which Sci-Fi Trope Would You Bring To The Real World, And Why? Every summer we're treated to the same buffet of three or four science fiction movies with the same basic conceits. There's man vs. aliens, man vs. robots, man vs. army of clones and man vs. complicated time travel rules. With virtual reality and self-driving cars fast approaching, it's time to consider what type of sci-fi movie we want to be living in for the rest of our lives. Co-hosts Jack O'Brien and Adam Tod Brown are joined by Cracked's Tom Reimann and Josh Sargent along with comedians David Huntsberger, Caitlin Gill, and Lizzy Cooperman to figure out which sci-fi trope would be the best to make a reality. Get your tickets to this live podcast here!
Let's keep this bullshit train going with If 27 Urban Legends Were True and If 20 Urban Legends Were Found To Be True.
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