I feel that Victorian England is in an eternal loop regarding the timeline since the contract that Alice signed says 'Lunacy Act of 1845'. This means Victorian England goes by the years of LWM but is stuck in probably a mid 1800's setting but the residents of this world don't notice (kinda like Storybrooke before Emma came to town).
I don't think there is a particular "time frame" as such. Yes, the document had a date on it, but so did newspapers in Storybrooke, and people just didn't really notice if time was being wibbly-wobbly. Sort of a "somebody else's problem" haze over the whole date and time thing.
As to why it would exist separately from the LWM, I've been thinking about it a lot.
An enormous amount of our most well-remembered classical fiction in the LWM is based in and around Victorian England. The Industrial Revolution wasn't just about industry and technology; culture leapt forward as well. It generated a huge number of great, romantic, and inspiring tales in a relatively short time frame. It's a setting of fantastic good, where hope, invention, and imagination created new technological and industrial wonders seemingly every day. It's also a setting of fantastic evil, where an oppressive class system and brutal imperialism killed hundreds of thousands in the name of progress. Victorian England is a setting that occupies a huge cultural and narrative space, and it makes perfect sense that the most narrative bits of it would splinter off as a World in its own right. (I do hypothesize that that World includes not just Victorian England, but the rest of the British Empire of the time, as the imperialist nature of the setting is inextricable from the rest of it.)
Basically anything by Charles Dickens, including A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities (technically France, but similar time frame), Oliver Twist, etc., could show up. You'd also have the Bronte sisters, Jane Austen (technically Regency, but again, close enough), William Thackeray, Thomas Hardy, George Eliot, Robert Louis Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle, and others. Depending on just how big Victorian Times World is, you might also have American authors and stories set in the same time frame, like Mark Twain. In a show like OUAT, characters like Ebenezer Scrooge, Sherlock Holmes, Huckleberry Finn, or Mowgli could all show up one day, and could all potentially come from this one Victorian Times World. It just depends on the demands of the show's story.
(Watch them eventually do a Christmas episode with Scrooge. It will inevitably become too great a temptation for any modern writer with access to a version of Victorian England.)
Nope, this Victorian England World is not at all like Storybrooke. Time passes normally because Alice grows up, gets pregnant and has a child. Ashley Cinderella's pregnancy lasted 28 years (poor girl) and no one aged. So I think it could be a sort of parallel Earth a bit younger than ours, so it seems they are 200 years backwards. If I say Tenth and Rose whovians will understand XD
Here's my understanding of Victorian England. It is a land with magic, but nobody there knows about magic. Alice goes to WL for the first time and returns shortly after as a little girl. Some time later, she goes back to WL to prove its existence to her father. She returns many years later as an adult some time after "Hat Trick". She is put in an assylum for a year, probably the year before the curse. During the curse, the land is frozen for 28 years but noone notices. Time must also be frozen in WL because Anastasia and other characters appear not to have aged. A possible explanation for this is that Cora put a force feild over WL and VE because she wanted Alice to return after the curse. Somehow Will and Jefferson were not protected by the force feild and were brought to Storybrooke during the curse. This would explain how some WL characters were brought to Storybrooke while most of WL remained the same after the curse.
Edward Zachary Sunrose wrote: I'd say it's like Cruella's England. People don't really bother with "such trivial things" as what year it is, since the year itself never changes, but people die, age and are born.
Agree. It is greatly implyed that Victorian England works exactly like Cruella's 1920's England. The people go through a whole life, but the era never changes. That being said, everyone was frozen in time for 28 years, just as everyone was everywhere, due to Regina's Dark Curse.