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|Ch.8: Dressing for dinner
Written by Line
(5/3/2007 6:56 p.m.)
At five o'clock the two ladies retired to dress, and at half-past six Elizabeth was summoned to dinner.
I know there have been previous discussions about how mealtimes changed during the 19th century, and that fashionable city people dined later than less fashionable country-dwellers. However, I'm just struck by the amount of time it took the Bingley sisters to dress for dinner - an hour and a half for what was basically an ordinary family dinner! Yes, they had a guest, but this was not a special occasion. I'm reminded of Parkinson's Law:
Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
They (and their kind) must really not have had all that much to do if they could spend an hour and a half of every day getting ready for one meal!
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