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Were the Victorians like us?

This photograph shows male and female cyclists in Hyde Park, London, with spectators lining the route. It was taken c.1870-1900

Cyclists in Hyde Park with spectators lining the route, taken c. 1870-1900.
Cyclists in Hyde Park with spectators lining the route, taken c. 1870-1900. © Reproduced by permission of Historic England Archive

Teaching idea

Analysing a selection of Victorian photographs can provide evidence to answer the question above. This could done be using some of the Images by Theme collections provided, such as Victorian Industry or Victorian Leisure.The worksheets above provide guidance and templates on how this could be done.

Learning aims and outcomes

  • Describe and begin to explain different interpretations and representations
  • Make informed judgements about the validity of information
  • Identify source material that can be used to answer specific questions

Prior knowledge

  • An understanding of when the Victorian period was would be useful

Extended learning and useful links

  • Ask pupils to choose one aspect of Victorian life and do a direct comparison with today, for example the photograph of ice skating near Oxford: what are they wearing, what would we wear, what would each be made of, would they be allowed to do the same things today etc.
  • Victorian Leisure - London
  • National Archives classroom resource: How was life different in Victorian times?

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