History: Back when Victorian women were, literally, dying to be fashionable

If you were 'lucky' enough to catch TB, you were bang on trend
consumption
A sickly female invalid dying of tuberculosis is depicted in this Victorian-era painting. Image: Wellcome Collection

Forget contouring and well-shaped brows, once upon a time, being pale, emaciated and on death's door was considered the height of attractiveness — and I'm not talking about the catwalks of the mid-'90s.

In the Victorian era, back when TB was rampant and responsible for around a quarter of all deaths in Europe, people had quite the romantic relationship with the disease.