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Kitty Mahone (1900)

Here you can watch and listen to Britain’s oldest ‘sound film’. This is Lil Hawthorne (1877-1926), a well-known American singer from Nashville, Illinois, performing the song ‘Kitty Mahone’. The film …

What tickled the Victorian fancy?

Welcome back to Week 3 of the The Living Picture Craze. “We are not amused”, Queen Victoria famously said – or so we are told. Her subjects, though, were eager …

The Queen on screen

Queen Victoria was one of the celebrities of early film. Royal events and processions had guaranteed appeal. Victoria was not the first member of the British royal family to be …

Armchair travel

In this video, Bryony Dixon and Joe Kember discuss the popular and enduring travel genre. Impressively, almost right from the start, companies sent cameramen all over the world to record …

What is a phantom ride?

Here you can watch Tram Rides through Nottingham (1902) by Mitchell and Kenyon, a filmmaking duo you will learn more about later in the week. Please note: This film has …

The BFI’s Victorian film collection

Why are these films important? Why should we study them? What can they tell us about the Victorian age and the innovators who made them? Queen Victoria’s reign famously saw …