But we were talking about Victoria and Albert. She kind of turned into an asshole after he died, too, all weird about sex. People died in childbirth because the doctors and nursemaids were too freaked out to actually watch what they were doing. I wouldn't really like just anybody looking at my junk, but the rules change if we're doing something important with my junk, you know? The legs of furniture had to be covered up, lest they destroy minds with their salacious legginess. It's a period I love, because I have always been terrified by furniture and its sexiness, but it's undoubtedly weird. It's been written that the obsession with the supernatural, the world of Prince Albert, is the symptom of an empire in decline; the Victorian age was the last time the UK excelled in zombie stories. Until now, as we've discussed. Nevertheless, their love has never passed away. "She keeps the gift of years before --a wither'd violet is her bliss. She knows not what his greatness is: for that, for all, she loves him more. Her faith is fixt and cannot move, she darkly feels him great and wise, she dwells on him with faithful eyes, says: 'I cannot understand: I love.' And in due time the woodbine blows; the violet comes, but..."
Sorry. We were talking about Victoria and Albert. It's 1879, the Widow of Windsor is sixty years of age, and she's heading across the Scottish Highlands in a horse and carriage. This is the story of how she died.
At a country estate -- Victorian stories are always about city visits, or country visits, and the difference between them is marked. Although not quite as broadly as the difference between this country visit and the usual. A procession of monks enters solemnly. Their leader approaches the estate's steward, and earns a bit of a dressing-down as a result: "You're not welcome here, and especially not today. I've got no time to start old arguments." The leader, Father Angelo, tells the Steward that he's not asking for much: just the entire house. Which he will be taking. The Steward sarcastically offers his wife, into the bargain, but Angelo's like, "Look, Casterbridge, I am a fucking ninja." Steward thinks he's speaking metaphorically -- "By what power? The Hand of God?" -- and Fr. Angelo assures him no: "The Fist of Man." Which is another way of stating the point of the episode, and the season, but first: a bunch of weirdness.