Victoria on Masterpiece premieres with a two-hour special, Sunday, Jan. 15, at 8 p.m. This new series follows the feisty teen queen’s reign after she ascended the British throne in 1837 and features finely appointed interiors, lavish costumes and extravagant ballroom scenes as it provides a look at the woman who gave her name to an era. NPT celebrated the series launch with a Victoria Preview Screening and Victorian Celebration Dec. 11 at the Franklin Theatre.
Victoria’s 63-year reign coincided with the Industrial Age, the Dickensian era and the American Civil War. It was also the time when many of our holiday traditions were established, among them the adornment of Christmas trees, the Christmas Carol story and the sending of Christmas cards. Appropriately, our Victoria preview event takes place during the holiday season.
Here are some opportunities to enjoy a Victorian holiday experience in the Nashville area.
Dickens of a Christmas, Downtown Franklin
At this time of year, Downtown Franklin looks like the set of a holiday movie and becomes even more festive during the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County’s annual Dickens of a Christmas. The 32nd edition of the event takes place the weekend of Dec. 10-11 and features Tiny Tim and the Cratchits, Scrooge, Marley and other characters plucked from Dickens’ stories; 200 musicians and dancers, a stilt walker and a unicyclist. Sugar plums, roasted chestnuts and other 19th-century English fare will be available from vendors; while a Victorian Father and Mother Christmas will distribute treats to children.
Remember, if you’re planning to attend Dickens of a Christmas on Sunday, finish the experience with NPT’s Victoria Preview Screening and Victorian Celebration!
Adelicia Acklen, the remarkable heroine of Belmont Mansion, was born just two years before Victoria. A portrait of the young queen dressed in ceremonial robes and wearing a glittering crown hangs at the center of Belmont Mansion’s grand staircase. During the holidays, seasonal flowers are added to the staircase and the mansion is bedecked in swags of greenery and arrangements of greenery and berries reminiscent of those of Adelicia’s time.
Belmont Mansion is celebrating a two-year restoration of Adelicia’s central parlor to its 1860s glory with a special Christmas treatment of festive greenery above the doors and windows. The mansion’s dining room has been laid with desserts and multi-course table setting typical to the Victorian era.
Grassmere Historic Home, Nashville Zoo
Yuletide tours of the Grassmere Historic Home will be offered weekends Dec. 3-4 through 17-18 and will include live entertainment. The house will be decorated with greenery in the Victorian style using ribbons and decorations that belonged to Margaret and Elise Croft, the sisters whose family bought Grassmere in 1888. Docents will explain Victorian traditions that are still part of modern celebrations, while discussing customs such as taking a turn stirring the Christmas pudding for good luck.
Lotz House Civil War House Museum
This historic home was completed in 1858 and survived the brutal Battle of Franklin. The house was built by German immigrant Albert Lotz, a master carpenter who created the home’s stunning cantilevered staircase and free-floating handrail. During the holiday season Lotz House is decorated in the manner of a mid-1880s Christmas and will be part of Twinkling Tennessee Christmas, a Gray Line tour of exterior light displays in Franklin. The Lotz House stop includes hot apple cider and cookies.