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Victorian London

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"London is a modern Babylon."

The days of Cockney flower girls; soot-faced urchins; penny-dreadfuls; machinery; morals that are, well, Victorian; men with pipes in parlor rooms and women in poofy dresses. The pea soup makes it difficult, but please — mind your step in Whitechapel...

Fortunately, if you're in trouble (and the situation is suitably intriguing), Sherlock Holmes might give you a discount, especially if there is a hint that Professor Moriarty is involved. More mundane matters can be referred to the bobbies of Scotland Yard — and no, being maimed by machinery in the workplace doesn't count. Job prospects are a bit thin since the Industrial Revolution, and chimney-sweeping, workhouses, and factories aren't so bad (even when run by bitter old misers). Would you rather be in the poorhouse?

Be wary also of wispy men with capes and strangely pointy teeth, spiritualist cultists, escaped convicts, mad or mercurial scientists, boarding schools, wide-eyed waifs, serial killers, and suspect meat pies. Also, that strange man you saw might just be your secret uncle's best friend's sister's former roommate's dog. All of which is overseen by Queen Victoria, who seems to have some connection to every sinister conspiracy threading its way through London streets, assuming she's not in their cross hairs.


This is a trope that is disturbingly accurate at times. The Victorian Era also happened in the rest of the country, of course, but, as we all know, Britain Is Only London. It's also the default setting for Steampunk stories or a Gaslamp Fantasy.

Popular tropes from this time period are:


The following characters from that period may make frequent cameos:


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    Anime & Manga 

    Audio Plays 

    Comic Books 
  • The first series of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is largely (though not solely) set in the fictional version of late Victorian London.
  • From Hell, which is based on the Jack the Ripper case.
  • French comics Basil and Victoria (and the cartoon adaptation, renamed Orson and Olivia) follows two orphans making a living by rat-catching on the streets of Victorian London.
  • French comics Professor Bell, by Joann Sfar.
  • Predator Nemesis. Ex-British Army Captain Soames is enlisted by Mycroft Holmes and the Diogenes Club to investigate a grisly massacre in an opium den, the killer being identified as "Rakshasa" by the sole survivor. The killer is the same Predator Soames encountered in India years before. Sherlock Holmes is mentioned (Soames is enlisted mainly because Sherlock is "out of the country at the moment", and it's implied that Mycroft is aware of Soames' previous encounter) as well as Jack the Ripper, whom is initially thought to be the culprit by Soames, and is strongly implied by Mycroft to have been killed by the Diogenes Club, but the details of his identity and his exact fate are kept secret from the public.
  • Ruse: The city of Partington is almost exactly like Victorian London, except that it's on an alien planet because it's part of the Sigilverse. In the Marvel Comics version, Parlington is simply Victorian London with a No Communities Were Harmed name.

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 

  • The cello rock band Rasputina uses imagery from this period in their songs, and their website even claims that the band was created in 1891.

  • Radio comedy series Bleak Expectations parodies this trope up one side of the workhouse and down the other.
  • Audio fantasy-adventure series The Springheel Saga, based on the Victorian urban legend of Spring-Heeled Jack.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • One of the domains of Ravenloft, the city of Paridon, aptly enough for a Gothic setting, is Victorian London, including a Jack the Ripper Expy.
    • The Masque of the Red Death alternate setting is entirely set in the Victorian Era, and centers on London. One of Ravenloft's domains, Odiare, was taken from Gothic Earth.
  • In Kerberos Club this Victorian society of (super)heroes has its headquarters in London throughout the age. Towards the end of the 1800s it's them that saves the city from an Atlantean attack and a robot uprising.
  • The appropriately-titled Victoriana RPG, from Cubicle 7 Games, uses this setting (with a few fantasy modifications) as a jumping-off point.
  • Victorian Age: Vampire covers the era from 1880 to 1897. London in this era is the standard against which the Kindred measure all other cities—and also a deeply dangerous domain where only the savviest survive its politics.
  • Victorian Lost, a historical setting for Changeling: The Lost, focuses on Victorian England in the 1890s.


    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 

  • minus.: This strip through time travel.
  • The main setting for Mayonaka Densha, though also through time travel.
  • Zatanna & the Ripper primarily takes place in 1888 London and follows time-traveling sorceress Zatanna as she attempts to solve the mystery of Jack the Ripper.

    Western Animation