Above Stairs: Social Life in Upper-Class Victoria 1843–1918
Lawrence C. Sherk
When Fort Victoria was first established in the mid-nineteenth century, eight pioneer families of Europe’s upper class formed the social elite of the modest colony. The self-named aristocracy of this new land, these families shaped a world suited to their proper tastes on the upper floors of the fort, and eventually, in beautiful homes that imitated the height of fashion in Europe. However, between their tea parties and balls, these particular families greatly influenced the progress of the city of Victoria and the province of British Columbia.
In Above Stairs, get to know the the Douglases, the Pembertons, the Skinners, the Creases, the O’Reillys, the Trutches, the Rithets and the Barnards. These families made laws, surveyed land, founded businesses and set a standard of social acceptability for all those living in Victoria at the time. Like a kitchen hand sneaking up the servants’ steps to spy on the rich, discover the glamorous, complicated lives of Victoria’s social elite in Above Stairs.
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Valerie Green was born and educated in England with a background in journalism, English literature and history. She has lived in Victoria, BC, since 1968, where she works as a freelance writer, writing the “Pages from the Past” column in the Saanich News as well as other magazine and newspaper articles. Valerie is the author of many historical books set in the Pacific Northwest, including family biographies and mystery-suspense fiction.