Mail-order catalogs didn’t show up in America as early as you might think… and couldn’t have impacted the mail-order bride phenomenon as early as today’s popular fiction market makes it seem.
Queen Victoria reigned from age 18 to age 81; June 1837 until her death in 1901. Anything that falls within this time, whether those English-speaking countries were her subjects or not, is referred to as the Victorian Era. The United States definitely had a Victorian Era–and the sheer quantity of significant historical occurrences, inventions, developments, social happenings–is astounding. This overview sheds light on this favored backdrop (Victorian Era American West) for fiction.