The Significance of Victorian England for the Cottagecore Aesthetic


  • Edgar James Ælred Jephcote Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland



cottagecore, cottage art, Helen Allingham, Myles Birket Foster, Elizabeth Gaskell, Gaskell’s illustrators, Internet aesthetics, nostalgia


This article contemplates the idyllic imagery of Elizabeth Gaskell's rural texts in relation to the key visual motifs of the Internet aesthetic "cottagecore." Meanwhile, the paper also strives to highlight the importance of both the Victorian era, particularly its literature and art, with regard to this popular Internet aesthetic. With some brief references to influential figures of the age, the cultural timeframe surrounding Gaskell's rural fiction is shown to offer significant historical relevance to the romanticisation of the English country-cottage life. The literary and pictorial texts serve as examples of this cultural process. Considering the author's mostly ornamental use of cottages in Wives and Daughters as well as her employment of floral characterisation, the paper also highlights the visual aesthetics of the cottage art of Helen Allingham and Myles Birket Foster as well as rural depictions made by illustrators of Gaskell's provincial works that display the visual after-life of Gaskell's rural texts.

Author Biography

Edgar James Ælred Jephcote, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland

Edgar James Ælred Jephcote has completed a Master’s degree in English Studies at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland, with a specialisation in editing and philology. His Alma Mater is The University of Wrocław, where his BA thesis in English Philology – titled “T. S. Eliot’s Use of the Chorus: The Rock and Murder in the Cathedral” – was awarded the Distinguished Bachelor Thesis Award by the University’s Institute of English Studies in 2021. In addition to Victorian literature, ecocriticism as well as cinema, particularly the films of the mid-1990s, represent his other main academic interests.


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How to Cite

Jephcote, E. J. Ælred. (2023). The Significance of Victorian England for the Cottagecore Aesthetic. English Studies at NBU, 9(2), 293–311.



Doctoral Section