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|Transportation focus and questions
Written by Line
(4/29/2007 6:54 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Man in a hurry...., penned by JulieW
I know we've discussed transportation in previous group reads, and the fact that then, as now, owning your own vehicle took up a large chunk of the household budget and was a good indicator of financial and social status. There are already a few references to transportation in the first 9 chapters of P&P, and I think I'll keep an eye out for others.
In ch.5, Mrs. Bennet remarks "I dare say [Darcy] had heard somehow that Mrs. Long does not keep a carriage, and had come to the ball in a hack chaise", and assumes that he was too snobbish to talk to her for this reason.
In ch. 7, besides the discussion about whether the horses are available to take Jane to Netherfield by carriage, Mrs. Bennet once again has an accurate idea of other people's transportation options:
"The gentlemen will have Mr. Bingley's chaise to go to Meryton; and the Hursts have no horses to theirs."
So far, from what I've read and learned from JA's novels and here at Pemberley, it seemed to go like this:
1) People who couldn't afford *anything*, like Miss Bates in "Emma", and either had to walk, depend on friends for a ride, or take public transport (the equivalent of a bus).
2) People like Mrs. Long who didn't have their own vehicle, but who could afford a "hack chaise" (the equivalent of a taxi?) when they wanted one
3) Those like the Hursts who could afford their own carriage, but not their own horses, and hired horses when they needed them.
4) Those who could afford both their own carriage *and* two horses to pull it.
5) Those like Bingley who could afford not only their own carriage, but *four* horses to pull it. (I'm just thinking that P&P2 goes over the top when it shows the Gardiners, a financially comfortable but not rich couple, travelling in a carriage drawn not only by *four* horses, but by four matching white horses!)
6) Those who could afford more than one vehicle plus the horses to go with them!
7) Of course, then there's Mr. Bennet, who falls into his own category! ;-)
Then there were horses and donkeys ridden by individual riders, and vehicles drawn by one animal, which I don't know much about.
Am I missing anything?
I was just wondering about a couple of things:
When people hired horses as they needed them, presumably the coachman to drive the carriage was part of the deal?
Also, were riding horses also used to pull carriages and vice versa, or where they in separate categories?
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