Originally posted 06 June 2012
I enjoy the florid writing style of the Victorian era, which is never so vivid as when a writer was denouncing other people’s moral failings. Consider this example from the article ‘Our Social Position: Baneful Effects of Sly-grog Selling’ (1857), which is about the illegal taverns in Australia:
“Sly-grog shops are positively the curse of the country, and to these dens of infamy and shame can many a single hearted youth trace the ruin of his character, and his initiation into every species of evil and immorality. At these places will be found congregated the known thieves and blackguards of a district; there they inveigle the unthinking, induce the habit of rum-drinking, and at last lead them from one illegal act to another, until the scholar becomes as proficient as the master in the practice of robbery and stealing the property of others.”
Modern writing is usually more dispassionate and factual, but rarely as fun to read.