A Victorian Christmas with Francesca Herrick

A Victorian Christmas with Francesca Herrick


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Enter into the holiday spirit by uncovering the origins of Christmas traditions in Victorian Britain. This richly illustrated seminar will explore how trees, turkeys, cards, crackers, carols, Father Christmas, and decorating the home became essential elements in the collective cultural experience, with the royal family leading the way for celebrations.

Led by art historian Francesca Herrick, this seasonal seminar takes a festive look at the Victorian origins of so many of our holiday traditions. We will explore a variety of visual material, including paintings, advertisements, book illustrations, and greetings cards by famous artists of the time, to better understand what Christmas meant to the Victorians and how our celebrations continue to be shaped by this historical era.

When Charles Dickens published 'A Christmas Carol' in December 1843, it helped to crystallize family, church-going, charity, and feasting as defining elements of the Christmas experience. However, many customs we take for granted had not yet taken hold. Only the sweeping industrial and social changes coming in at this time created the right conditions for increased spending and leisure time among the population. Indeed, the commercialization of Christmas was a nineteenth-century development.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert led the way in taking home decorating and dining to the next level with the sumptuous Christmases they staged at Windsor Castle. See how they decked the royal halls and produced spectacular table displays. Discover the gifts they gave to each other and their children, and how Albert drew on his German childhood to bring an international dimension to British traditions. A fitting seminar for anyone who enjoys both the spirit, and history of, Christmas!

Francesca Herrick is a London based lecturer who has expanded her teaching practice beyond her Art History degrees to encompass the history of interior design. This specialised subject is still an emergent area of scholarly study. In her academic role at KLC School of Design, Chelsea, she has found a rare opportunity to develop curriculums for graduate courses that combine historical and critical studies with more practical engagement with past design. She is also an educator for the Courtauld Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
75%
(3)
25%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
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(0)
M
M.D.
Inspiring look into Victorian Christmas traditions

I only wish this Conversation had gone on longer! Francesca Herrick gave us beautiful glimpses into the world of Victorian Christmas decorations, traditions, and meals, using period photographs and drawings as well as photographs of antique decorations and memorabilia from museums. She also provided an informative background about how the customs came into existence, and how some have continued or have been adapted for our contemporary Christmas celebrations.

S
S.S.
Charming, fun and instructional way to bring Christmas to you

Instructor is fabulous, so well informed and prepared for anything. Great photos and pictures to illustrate her points. A good overview of the holiday traditions with information on where to look to adapt them to our lives now. Highly recommend.

K
K.

This was a lovely feel-good seminar. Francesca had obviously done a lot of research, and also obviously loves Christmas. I think we were all fans of Christmas, and more so now. :-)

W
W.B.
Victorian Christmas

Very informative, would have loved more pictures.

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
75%
(3)
25%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
M
M.D.
Inspiring look into Victorian Christmas traditions

I only wish this Conversation had gone on longer! Francesca Herrick gave us beautiful glimpses into the world of Victorian Christmas decorations, traditions, and meals, using period photographs and drawings as well as photographs of antique decorations and memorabilia from museums. She also provided an informative background about how the customs came into existence, and how some have continued or have been adapted for our contemporary Christmas celebrations.

S
S.S.
Charming, fun and instructional way to bring Christmas to you

Instructor is fabulous, so well informed and prepared for anything. Great photos and pictures to illustrate her points. A good overview of the holiday traditions with information on where to look to adapt them to our lives now. Highly recommend.

K
K.

This was a lovely feel-good seminar. Francesca had obviously done a lot of research, and also obviously loves Christmas. I think we were all fans of Christmas, and more so now. :-)

W
W.B.
Victorian Christmas

Very informative, would have loved more pictures.