I'm sure you're all wondering, 'Why Victorian Swag?' For us, it was quite simple: the title really made us laugh. That and we all have a certain weakness for tea times spent with our favorite Masterpiece Classics. As to what the term even means, with there being four of us, we'd probably all respond a little differently. So tonight, that's exactly what we're doing!
For me, two images instantly spring to mind when I hear the words "Victorian swag" and I feel I cannot proceed any further without sharing them to get my point across (plus, I just like to look at them!). First is Jane Eyre's Mr. Rochester, casually leaning against a bridge upon Jane's return to Thornfield Hall. From the straw hat to the pose and teasing eyes... If you didn't know what Victorian swag was before, now you know! Second is when North & South's Mr. Thornton, looking as dressed down as we've ever seen him, meets Margaret halfway (both physically and symbolically - oh. my. heart.) at the train station. Holy popped collar, *SQUEE*, say no more, and kiss me!
In the strictest sense, Victorian swag is that je ne sais quoi possessed by some of our favorite fictional gents that makes our toes curl. One minute their eyes are burning with disdain and the next they're smirking till- hold up! Must rewind/reread to admire the Victorian swag! All the while they're being held at arm's length by their heroine, carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders in a heartbreaking manner that makes you bitterly quote Darcy's, "Would I could help you!" from the other side of the screen. They're classy, but sometimes sassy, defying custom, doing the honorable thing, and handing you their handkerchief as you blubber about being born in the wrong century... *le sigh*
As for modern Victorian swag, well, strip away the top hats and pocket watches (curse you, 21st century!) et voila! Basically, it's all about the swoon.