Victorian Character : Cecilia Mansford

Victorian character Cecilia Mansford
Who is Cecilia?

Cecilia Mansford (1870s), Victoria’s cousin, is a friend of Florence Nightingale. She tells the tale of a comfortable Victorian home. Whilst enjoying a comfortable lifestyle she is aware of life for poorer folk. Cecilia is a good choice for topics on Florence Nightingale, and wealthy Victorian town life.

Cecilia’s Visit

Cecilia Mansford is used to a very comfortable life and rarely travels with less than three valises. She is visiting a series of friends around the area, staying a few days here and there. Glad of a break in her journey she is pleased to accept the hospitality of your school. She loves to tell everyone about Florence Nightingale – one of the family’s friends. Or to swap news about the latest mod-cons and fashions. Don’t be surprised if packages are opened to give her the chance to show some new interest or object of delight.

There is no set script for the presentation, it depends on what artefacts or subjects the audience become interested in. However, the material can be steered in the direction(s) desired by the class teacher. Cecilia can tell tales about:

  • Life in wealthy Victorian times – clothes, hygiene, food, leisure, homes, healthcare, social customs and etiquette
  • Famous people of the time – Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole, Charles Dickens
  • The Great Exhibition


If desired, Cecila (or her historian alter-ego) can run workshops with the children in conjunction with the teachers. Or teachers can opt to run these themselves whilst the character works with another group/class. Workshop themes can include: decoupage, writing practice with slates or ink and quill, scraps, netting, making simple toys, French knitting, games, dancing, water colours or ink drawings of plants, food tasting, taking afternoon tea.

More details about a character visit can be found here.

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