>> Saturday, March 1, 2008
This disk has been produced with the help of "The Museum of London" and explores the various social aspects of the city during the reign of Queen Victoria. It contains a vast amount of material ranging from Full Screen Motion Video, drawings and sound recordings of the period as well as commentary on a range of subjects relating to how life was like for the vast majority of London's inhabitants. Lee Barnard wrote this review originally for the CD-i Collective, one of the former highlights in the world of CD-i. There are actually only a few "Virtual Museums" on CD-i, like one of the first titles "In the Wake of Captain Cook (Also by Valkieser) and the Art series on CD-i partly fall under the same wing. It's a rare breed which even nowadays you'll only come across on the Internet for a little bit. Titles like Victorian London on CD-i are beautiful and highly underrated.
The disk starts with a 360 degree panorama on which there are 23 hot spots, each one allows access to a film clip showing a sight relating to an aspect of late 19th century life in London. One of the clips shown shows a tea party in the grounds of Buckingham Palace attended by Queen Victoria in 1897.
The next section is "Encounters" and gives personal accounts of London from 15 of the cities most prominent inhabitants or visitors at that time. These include Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde and Karl Marx. All of these accounts are accompanied by sound clips and images.
The "Themes" section there are 31 sites that are grouped into themes including Transport, Docks & River, London Lives, Growth and Change, Royal London and Landmarks.
31 of London's residential areas are highlighted in the next section , depicted as pins on a map of Victorian London they show what life was like in the developing parts of London as well as the more poorer areas, there is a heavy content of related images and text.
Finally there is a time-line which shows the events of a given year in either Great Britain, Europe and the rest of the World.
Overall this is a very well researched and content rich source of social history. There is so much information that it will take many hours to exhaust the sheer amount of visual and aural content that has been crammed on here. Here is one disk that shows the huge potential of CD-I when it is handled correctly and can easily compete with anything that is produced on CD-ROM, in fact I know of no disc on CD-ROM that tackles this particular subject.
An exceptional disc which is worthy of anybody's attention, if you can find it grab it!
Credits: Lee Barnard & CD-i Collective