The Egyptomania of the Victorian Era: a Steampunk Perspective – Or “Are you my mummy?

This goes well with today’s post.

Cogpunk Steamscribe

The Victorian era was a time of great exploration as well as innovation, which is why it is so popular with the Steampunk genre. Napoleon’s contribution to exploration and science is often overlooked by modern ‘pop-culture’ historians, but his Egyptian Campaign from 1798 to 1801 created a fad for all thing Egyptian. The impact of this Egyptomania has lasted right up to the present, but its strongest influences were during the Victorian era.

However, Egyptomania did not mean that artefacts were treated with respect. Indeed, Capitalism and commercialism will often find a way to make economic gains without showing any sympathy or sensitivity to the historical significance of what the culture they are plundering. The Victorians, with their hearty belief that they could do no wrong, were soon making money by methods we would find horrific by today’s standards.

Martin Drolling’s ‘Interior of a Kitchen’ – painted with Mummy Brown

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