I’ve learned a lot over the years. For instance, Victorians were totally OCD over newspapers. Not only were a bunch printed daily, but people would read more than one daily. Also, many people have probably noticed this, but no one writes like the Victorians. Nowhere else have I seen a paragraph take up two pages of a novel. They were pretty nifty people those Victorian Brits.
In all my years of study however, I never thought to ask this question. I’m shocked it never occurred to me before. One of my professors gave us an assignment: to find a newspaper from April 10, 1848. It wasn’t very difficult. Our library actually has digital access to The Times. So I found the paper The Times put out on April 10, 1848. Wanna take a wild guess at what my first thought was? I’ll give you options. Was it:
- Holy crap! History! This could only be better if I was holding it in reality!
- WTF? I can’t read that!
- I wonder what it would smell like...
This brings me to the question that had never been thought and has never been answered: On average, how many Victorians wore glasses? How else could they see that? Or did they read with magnifying glasses. Or opera glasses? The common denominator here appears to be glasses. Of course, I could always assume that my eyesight has been marred by years of staring at computer screens.
In conclusion, I will not likely get black-lung or VD, but the Victorians could see better than me? One of my papers is all about evolution and degeneration. Have we simultaneously evolved and degenerated? Let’s all think about that and take it back up tomorrow.
Oh, one more thing. Thank God for PDFs. Magnification: 50%.