Monday, December 6, 2010

Dickens on the Strand: The Most Disappointing Victorian-Themed Festival I've Ever Been To

... all right, so it's the only Victorian-themed festival I've ever been to, but this weekend's Dickens on the Strand in Galveston was so much less than I thought it would be in so many ways.

I've never been that much a Dickens fan, anyway, having always considered myself a Hardy Girl.  (Pun intended, Hardy har har.  Oh, and that one was intended too.)  When I heard that there would be a two-day festival in Galveston, though, I was intrigued despite myself and talked a friend into going with me.

The "festival," if it can be called that, was basically a bunch of vendors from the Renaissance Faire (and I mean straight from the Renaissance Faire, down to the dragon necklaces) interspersed between vendors from the carnival (and I mean straight from the carnival, down to the funnel cakes).  While there were some people in costume, about a third of them were in costumes from an entirely different era in history--the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, for the most part. 

The Confederate army (including tents and horses) was there recruiting for God knows what battle reenactment,(correct time period, wrong continent).  There were cowboys and pirates that made the Steampunk section look positively historically accurate, to the point that I had to wonder how many people at the Dickens fair actually knew anything about the man of the hour. 

The only redeeming factor of the day was when we wandered into an antique store and I found a used book on Byron and Shelley's time in Pisa... and, yes, I know that Charles Dickens was only about seven years old in 1819 so even that wasn't particularly Victorian.  However, I comfort myself with the fact that, had he been there, C.L. Cline (author of Byron, Shelley, and Their Pisan Circle) would probably have been complaining about the historical inaccuracies right along side of me... because I'm sure I annoyed my hapless friend, who probably regretted his decision to come in the first place.


Homero said...

I. Hate. Steampunk.

I love the Victorian era, so miunderstood, but Steampunk enthusiest drive me mad. Brass and copper plated iPhones=/=Steampunk. Ugh.

I just checked out the website, and the main pic at top, I count three different eras. Whoo-boy, big red flag. Ren Fairs can't even get these things right, and those are some hard core nerds there.

Lindsay-with-an-A said...

Steampunk doesn't bother me all that much--I like the idea of the Industrial Revolution sort of worming its way into everyday life Jules Verne-style, but I wouldn't want to have my house decorated in it. I just kind of like steampunk-style films and books.

And I never ever thought I would say this, but I think that this kind of thing (and Ren Faires) are just too nerdy for me--or dorky, depending on how you look at it. I know, it's shocking that I have some standards, but the idea of dressing up to go to a public venue and not a private party just makes me squirm internally.

Plus, if you're going to go to the trouble of dressing up, PLEASE go to the trouble of doing some research to make your costume correct. I was surprised by how annoying I found that.

My blog said...


Lindsay-with-an-A said...

... but true? I agree.

happyname34 said...

Hapless? I think you mean hatless. I'm also lemonadeless now that I realize I abandoned my drink in that store. Neverthelessless I had a grand ole time.

Lindsay-with-an-A said...

Hapless and hatless, then. And how could you abandon an $8 lemonade?

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