Victorian Children  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Victorian Children (Academy Editions, 1972) is a book by Graham Ovenden and Robert Melville.

The book features 112 pages of sepia toned photographic illustrations. Photographers include Lewis Carroll, Margaret Cameron, Octavius Hill and Oscar Rejlander with 72 full page b/w photographs, one double page photograph and 90 partial page photographs.

Though entitled "Victorian Children", this collection reflects Graham Ovenden's personal interest in young girls, and boys appear only peripherally. As one might expect from Ovenden many of the images are of nudes or of girls posing provocatively, as the fashion was at the time (due to the moralizing stigma still attached to overtly nude or sexual images of adult women, young girls became the unfortunate substitutes - an "innocent" alternative that seems anything but innocent to our modern eyes). Some of these images - such as one of a pregnant ten-year-old prostitute - are genuinely disturbing, others are more or less innocuous. If [the book's] intention was to demonstrate the attitudes of adults (and men in particular) towards young girls of that era, it is ... only partially successful. --E. Worth on May 16, 2013

See also

  • Anon. photography; Child Prostitute; Silverprint 8 1/2" x 6"; year 1871; inscription at the back: Mary Simpson a common prostitute age 10 or 11 year. She has been known as Mrs. Berry for at least two years. She is four month with child.[1]
  • Mary Gregory
  • Victorian era

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