Thursday, July 31, 2014

I Was Raised Victorian: Guest Post by Brenda of Daily Mayo

Greetings! I am Brenda from Daily Mayo. Classics are some of my favorite books, since I mostly read just classic literature growing up. I am excited to be able to share this guest post with you!

When I was young, my favorite books in all the world were the most classic of Victorian titles like David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Anne of Green Gables, Ruth Fielding, Peter Pan, Little Women, the Secret Garden, and Sherlock Holmes.

Born into a family of 9, my siblings and I were largely left alone to make our own choices about what to read, where to go, and what to do. I chose to spend most of my time and energy reading Victorian novels.  

Through the pages penned by long-dead authors, I not only absorbed the information written there, but I also became the subjects of each book. Reading a book was not simply the experience of reading words on paper, but also a complete immersion into a different world.

I nearly drowned with Anne, chased down criminals with Watson (I never presumed to become Sherlock), uncovered the key to the secret garden with Sarah, and flew to Neverland with Wendy.

I read so much Victorian literature that it began to affect my everyday life. I wanted to wear long, swishing skirts; put my hair up in a bun; and ride horses through the English countryside (no matter that I basically lived in the desert). I wanted to BE Victorian in every way possible.

My childhood obsession with the Victorian lifestyle was so deep, that when I grew up; I didn’t want to be a doctor, an astronaut, or a rock star. I didn’t even want to be a princess like many other little girls.

No, I wanted to be an orphan.

Or, since I found the issue of getting rid of my parents complicated and impractical, I was all right with simply being given away to be raised by rich relations.  

Although my family and friends probably thought I was nuts for wearing my hair in braided pigtails for two years and choosing to wear skirts in middle school, it was during these experiences that I realized what I wanted out of life. I wanted the ability to make people feel the way that I did about my beloved books. I wanted to become a writer.  

As I grew older, I began to read stories that fell outside of the Victorian period. I realized that, perhaps, I didn’t have to live like a Victorian to experience the best side of writing.

But that didn’t mean I left all of my past experience by the wayside. Much of my opinions on writing and literature are based around the stories that captured my youthful imagination- and to this day, I feel happiest in a long skirt.

Of course, if my 11-year-old self knew a career in writing is 80 percent rejection and 20 percent coffee- she might have chosen a different profession. Professional horse racing, maybe.

I was raised Victorian, but I don’t regret a single minute.

Bio: Brenda is crazy in love with books and runs the book blog Daily Mayo, where you can find all things book-related and fun. I particularly like to write about fun ways to bring books to life, create quote graphics, and make book lists to help you find your next favorite book! You can keep up with the fun by subscribing to my newsletter, following me on Twitter, or following me on Facebook!


  1. I'm 28, is it too late for me to be raised by rich relations? ;)

  2. What a fun piece!

    I really did not discover many of the titles you mentioned until I was much older. Now that I have, I have discovered that some I can take and some are just not for me. Sherlock though, that's one that I cannot get enough of!!

    1. Yes! I can't get enough of Sherlock. Some of the books I really liked then are not as interesting to me now, so I think book taste can definitely change over the years! Maybe try them again in another decade. :-)

  3. For me because I had to English Teachers as parents, I was raised more Shakespearean, I loved reading and acting out the plays when I was younger. My love for Victorian novels came later


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