Straitlaced Saturday — Chicago World’s Fair 1893

Saturday, March 2, 2019 

victorian novels
Cover by Teagan R. Geneviene

It’s Straitlaced Saturday, my chuckaboos!   This post complements the era of my steampunk serial, Copper, the Alchemist, and the Woman in Trousers. 

Many people are intrigued by the Victorian Era.  That doesn’t surprise me.  The time has many different “faces” in my imagination — it has something for everyone.  Take the seedy, violent aspect of Jack the Ripper, which has been the subject of many thrillers. 

The idyllic image of the era sets the imagination aflame.  The beautiful costumes of the period add a glamorous face that helps us see stories like William Makepeace Thackeray’s Vanity Fair.   

One face of the Victorian Era we often forget is its “geek face.”  Yes, I’m being silly, but there truly were so very many innovations during that time.  Just imagine being at the 1893 World’s Fair!

1893_world_columbian_exposition Worlds Fair Chicago WikiMedia
Ad for the Chicago World’s Fair 1893

Imagination is my favorite face of the Victorian Era.  Although the aspect may be dark, as with The Picture of Dorian Grayby Oscar Wilde — or utterly fanciful, like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  

Get Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland free here.

Alice certainly had her ups and downs.  One of my favorite quotes is a single sentence by Robert G. Ingersoll…

“We rise by lifting others.”

I think of that quote whenever I visit the blog of author David Rogers.  Recently, David mentioned the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893.  Once he stumbled upon a beautiful Victorian image at a museum exhibit about that event.  It inspired him to write a poem.  I felt his prose beautifully captured one of the many faces of the Victorian Era.  He kindly gave permission for me to use it here.

silhouette of Victorian woman, flower designs

Lady at the Fair

I saw that life-size photograph of you
Turning a corner
Carrying a parasol
In the rain
At the World’s Fair
A century ago.

What do you mean to me?
What do your long lace gloves,
Flowing gown,
Plumed hat,
Pleasing face,
And Modigliani eyes
Signify to me?
Why does the memory of you now
Move me and puzzle me so hauntingly?

Why do I feel such
Affection for you
And wish I too at that moment
Were turning that corner
Under those rain clouds
Onto the fairway
With you close to me
That day a century ago?

David J. Rogers

Thomas Moran – Chicago World’s Fair – painting of the Administration Building, 1893

Also called the World’s Columbian Exposition, the World’s Fair of 1893 featured many truly extraordinary innovations.  It sets my steampunk imagination soaring!  Click over to learn more about it.   Note that the photo below is inside an exhibit hall.

1893 WorldColumbianExpositionExhibitHall
World Columbian Exposition inside an exhibit hall, 1893


I’m writing this post in advance, because I’m in the process of relocating.  As I write, I’m not sure where I will be when this goes live.  However, I am thinking of you, my chuckaboos!

Mega hugs!


Now some shameless self-promotion. 

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This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright ©  2019 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

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