The exhibition Off the Pedestal: Images of Women in Victorian Broadsides, Ephemera, & "Fast" Literature, highlights illustrations from the Lilly's London Lowlife Collection. The materials span three decades of the 1800s, and feature sensational prints, comics, and engravings.
Many of the illustrations from "fast" literature focused on women. This focus was sometimes used to inspire awe, pity, or to arouse good people to good work. Often these illustrations were used to arouse readers in other ways. Publishers and booksellers were imprisoned on obscenity charges stemming from images in this collection.
This exhibition looks at images of Victorian women in conjunction with various societal realties, including class, politics, divorce, fashion, murder, and much more.
This online exhibition was originally created in 2007. View the original version of Off the Pedestal: Images of Women on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.