The other side of Victorian Britain

Updated: Jul 14, 2020, 10:15 IST | Fiona Fernandez | Mumbai

There are criminal, racial, sexual and lunatic secrets that open your eyes to the forbidden side at a time when the country was undergoing tremendous change across industry, society and education

An illustration of Victorian Britain from Charles Dickens's Bleak House
An illustration of Victorian Britain from Charles Dickens's Bleak House

Stephen Fry piqued our curiosity with the title itself — Victoria's Secrets. After devouring the societal landscape of the era, courtesy Dickensian delights and classics by the Brontë sisters and George Elliot, this wasn't quite what we were expecting. The author, actor and comedian regaled us with this 12-part series that he presents; his baritone is a bonus that takes us on an exploratory ride into the dark side to Victorian Britain through each 30-minute episode.

Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry

There are criminal, racial, sexual and lunatic secrets that open your eyes to the forbidden side at a time when the country was undergoing tremendous change across industry, society and education. Without giving away too much, we learnt that Jack the Ripper wasn't the most feared serial killer of the era but it was a woman. Fry takes us through mysterious beliefs, sinister plots and oddball fears set in labyrinthine alleys and coffin boxes. The series tells us about "aunties who aren't conventional and uncles who are naughty" — Fry shares in a behind-the-scenes teaser from the show's recordings. Our earlier impression of the era went for a somersault. And we aren't complaining.

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