ken (ambrmerlinus) wrote in little_details,

Late-Victorian aristocratic mourning

Setting: Manchester (or surrounding area), England, 1892

Characters: Two siblings, an unmarried man (23) and an unmarried woman (25) (yes I realize she is practically a spinster, that is on purpose), and their wealthy baronet father (65ish). The daughter lives with the father. The son may or may not, I'm still fussing with that. Both children are on good terms with their father. The father dies of natural causes and leaves no surviving spouse.

Question: How do the siblings' lives change after their dad kicks it, and how quickly can things return to relative normalcy? How would mourning a parent as an adult compare to mourning a parent as a child? What sort of public face would the siblings be expected to put on their grief? Would mourning isolate the siblings from society, and would the sister be more isolated than the brother, and at what point would it be considered polite for them to start going out in public again?

According to the research I've done so far, mourning would last for at least a year and involve lots of black crepe clothes (for the lady), black armband/hatband (for the gent), and black-edged stationary (for everyone?). I'm guessing the daughter is expected to mourn harder than the son in the eyes of society because that's how these things usually go, and that the son will be expected to bottle up his emotions.

I've already looked through the ~funerals tag in this comm, as well as the related Victorian tags. This taught me about hair jewelry, among other things, but I did not find concrete answers to the specific questions asked above.

Bonus points for recommending a reference book a la the Victorian Life and Times series. (I could have sworn they had a volume on funerary practices, but alas, I cannot find it.) A lot of the books I've checked out so far have focused on early to mid-Victorian practices, and I need information relating to the 1890s specifically. I'd prefer something I could check out of a library rather than something on Google books, but any leads would be helpful.
Tags: 1890-1899, uk: history: victorian era, ~funerals

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