Punch,  51 (1866), 238.

The Queen in the Black Country





Industry, Manufactories, Class, Disease, Health, Human Development, Environmentalism

    Comments on Queen Victoria's visit to Wolverhampton. The poet describes the effect of the town's metal-working industry on the appearance and health of the people and on the landscape. Expects that the Queen will be greeted by 'toil-stunted children' who 'leave their nailing for the shows' and by people who slave 'from dawn to darkness at nail-hammer and nail-rod'. Notes how the countryside around the town is full of 'cindery wastes, seamed, scathed, and ashy-hoar' and that it knows no seasons, and that the work changes people 'Till stamp of sex is beaten out, and youth is hard and old [...] man grows brutal, woman bold'. Considers it good that the statue of Prince Albert should 'show his gentle face, / Betwixt the wealth and wretchedness of this unhallowed place'.

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