Rules for the Victorian Lady

The University of Worcester Research Collections

Within our Ronchetti Collection I came across a Victorian writing album. These books were purchased blank and passed amongst family and friends who would inscribe poems, sentiments and illustrations before returning the album to its original owner. They are also known as autograph books, which since the 20th century have become more commonly associated with gaining signatures and messages from well-known celebrities.  Earlier versions of these albums were more personal and sentimental than their modern successors.

Writing Album 9 Please click on image to enlarge

Victorian writing albums allowed friends to express their sentimentality for one another and display this in which ever format suited them.  An apt description of these albums can be found from within its pages:

‘Once almost every maid possessed

an album in which friends addressed

some poem, prose or rhyme

where lovers could not quite disguise

the tender passions that would rise

to verse – almost sublime’

This…

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