Victorian Mourners

I found this photo at and fell in love with the many possibilities it presents for story ideas.


The most obvious is, of course, a funeral during Victorian times.  We can ask who these people are and what connection they had to the deceased. Are they relatives, friends, lovers, neighbors and/or enemies? Who is being buried? How did that person die? Why are there only five mourners at the graveside service?

What if it was a man who died and the women were all his wives? Do they know about each other? Or perhaps one of these people killed the deceased. Or all of them together. What if they are witches and wizards, disguised as normal people, waiting for the service to conclude so they can raise the dead?

Look at the trees in the background. They have a definite Goth feel to them. What if these five in black are cemetery ghosts and no one else can see them? What if one of them is the deceased person, attending in ghost form? In the foreground of the photo we see a mound of dirt on which the figures are standing. Is it just a barren hill they have climbed, or is there another grave behind them waiting to be filled? What does the state of the earth tell you about the season?

The middle woman seems to be holding something. What might it be? What will she do with it? What impact will it have on the service? And the man on the end has his hands clasped behind his back, as though he is bored. Why?

One intriguing photo, many story possibilities.

Susan Tuttle

Comments? Your ideas from this photo…

Word of the Week: Elegiac (N or adj. Lat. elegiacus)
Definition: resembling or characteristic of or appropriate to an elegy; expressing sorrow, ofren for something past.
Synomyms: sorrowful, melancholy, mournful, sad
Usage: Her essay read more like an elegiac lament for her lost youthful ideals than an indictment of city government programs.