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|As Mrs Darcy
Written by JulieW
(9/3/2005 4:55 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Hen Party (Letter 15), penned by Robbin
Her housekeeper would have all this in hand.Thank goodnes for Mrs Reynolds.
However Lizzie may have been very interested in the contents of her store cupboards.
There is a myth that 18th century ladies were removed from the day to day runnings of their households, I think.
The old days of Tudor hospitality may have gone,but I have not seen anything in diaries and letters of the period to convicne me that women did not still take an active interest in the food served at their table.
Look at this from Mrs Lybbe Powys diary( a distant relation to JA by marraige). She lived at Hardwick House, Henley- on-Thames, Oxfordshire.Phyllis Court( now a conference centre), and a neighbouring country house was leased by Countess Grandison from a Mr Freeman of Fawley Court, Buckinghamshire .
Her son ,Lord Villiers( who later became Earl Grandison) lived there with her and decided to present some private theatricals for the neighbourhood in January 1777 at his friend,Mr Hodge's home, Bolney Court.
One's heart rather goes out to Lady Grandison who had to
She also told the Reverend Powys( Mrs Lybbe Powys brother) of her hopes for her larder and food stores holding out:
"…and yet, Mr Powys you shall judge if my larder will not hold out. I've three does ,a warrant gone for a fourth, three brace of pheasants, eight hares, six brace whistling plovers, twelve couple woodcocks, ten brace partridges ,a peafowl, two guineas fowls and larks without number and most of those sent for the occasion as I suppose without names!"
Thank goodness for the generosity of country neighbours. It is also heartening to hear comments of this domestic nature from a countess dont you think?
Emma may not have fed her chickens,( Mrs Weston probably did)but she knew all about the correct cuts of pork,and which one would be most acceptible as gifts to the impoverished Bates ladies;-)
Mrs Austen kept dairy cows, poultry and kept the vegetable gaarden.
As to hens......pigs I am afraid win out in intellignece and humour stakes,IMHO.And I am sure Clarence Duke of Emsworth would agree with me, as would the Empress of Balndings;-)
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