17. July 2017 · Write a comment · Categories: review · Tags: ,

Victorian Pharmacy

It started the way all addictions do… harmlessly… innocently…

For me, it started with a four part series my mom discovered and emailed me a link to. She discovered someone uploaded an entire show on YouTube, one episode at a time. The show was called Victorian Pharmacy and there were four episodes. At this time, it is not available for purchase in the USA. Trust me–I looked. You can only currently obtain a UK import. Why is beyond me! The second this is available in the US, I want a DVD. (Yes, I still prefer DVDs and not downloads or streaming! Is anyone else like that?) There is a book, however, which is now on my wish list!

The facts:
Name: Victorian Pharmacy
Episodes: 4
Length: Approximately an hour apiece
Year: 2010 (I’ll be honest, I didn’t look this up until writing this post!)
DVD: Available on DVD in Playback Region 2 DVD (does not work on most US players)
Book: Victorian Pharmacy: Rediscovering Home Remedies and Recipes

Historian Ruth Goodman, Professor Nick Barber (If I remember correctly, he mentioned at some point he had been a doctor for 30 or so years) and Ph D student Tom Quick. I love that Ruth brings in the historical knowledge (and she is smart, too, that woman is!) but that you have two individuals with a pharmaceutical background that brings modern knowledge into the show to compare to Victorian remedies.

The four episodes follows the course of the Victorian Era, which was a fantastic way to do it–they start at the beginning of the Victorian era (1837) and work their way to the end of the era (1901). Their job is to set up a Victorian Pharmacy and offer everything a pharmacy would during that time period–from medication, to dental and photographic services, and all sorts of other odds and ends they had to make themselves to stock their shelves. As the episodes go on, different medications, inventions and techniques become available. This means the trio starts with certain things at hand and as time progresses, inventions make their jobs easier, or more difficult, depending on what is expected of them.

I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to spoil anything, but for anyone who enjoys watching anything from the Victorian era, you will truly enjoy this series! The trio fully immerses themselves in the series. They dress in the fashions of the day, the shop is fully decorated in Victorian fashion, and they try their hand at many a recipe people of the day swore by back then. To keep things interesting, volunteers would come in and try these concoctions. To keep things safe, experts would come in and share their knowledge and expertise on various topics.

If you’re willing, at least give the first episode a crack and see if you like it. I think anyone who likes the Regency, Victorian or Edwardian time periods may really enjoy this show. It is one thing to read about some of these things in a novel or to see the photos in an advertisement, but it’s another thing to see people actually experience these every day things that people did to give themselves pain relief!