Posted by Caroline on July 20, 1997 at 13:45:41:
In reply to An Easy Distance posted by Laurz on July 17, 1997 at 16:45:26
Measuring Easy Distances
Someone who was researching for P&P2 must have found a timetable for the Royal Mail, because Mr Collins, in his introductory letter to Mr Bennet goes on in great and boring detail about the times of the various "equipages" in which he makes the journey. It's so boring that I've not actually paid any close attention to it, but I think it takes him about five-six hours. Lizzy and Maria make it back from Rosings with just one meal-stop at the Inn, which seems about right.
Diana de Marley, in WORKING DRESS (see our Bibliography) quotes the first Royal Mail Route starting on August 1 1784 from Bristol to London, via Bath, Chippenham, Marlborough, Newbury, Reading, and Maidenhead. Four horses, fifteen changes of horse and seventeen hours.
The Route, which used to be called the Great West Road, and is now called the A4, is about 120 miles. That could mean an average speed of about 6-8 miles per hour, plus rest stops, and changing horses every 8 miles or so (though not necessarily stopping for more than a few minutes each time)
London to Pemberley (well, Lyme Park) is about 160 miles, making for an awful lot of horses for Mr Darcy to keep on the road. He probably went more slowly, took his horses further. And probably used a lighter carriage than was shown in the film, if we are to be logical about this.
Many Regency Romancers, including Georgette Heyer, whose History I do trust, have their characters claiming that this or that set of carriage horses are "sixteen-mile -an- hour tits". How far and how fast a pair or four horses can go with a light carriage I do not know. Does anyone here have any knowledge of driving a horse and buggy?
For those who need it; 1mile=1.6kilometres.
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