Posted by The Mysterious H.C. on August 11, 1998 at 12:07:49:
In response to More About Bundling, written by Marie-Bernadette on August 11, 1998 at 09:16:00
Here's some comments from AUSTEN-L on bundling in New England:
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 1996 18:33:10 -0600
From: Henry Churchyard
Subject: Re: BundlingFrom: "Mary K. Taylor" <103241.3366@COMPUSERVE.COM>
can anyone elaborate on the custom of 'bundling?' I think that's the term -- that about 200 or so years ago courting couples were allowed to spend the night together in the same bed with a partition seperating them. Physical contact was verboten and they were only allowed to talk. I remember reading something about Pres. Adams and his wife Abigail doing this during their courtship.
This was pretty much confined to New England farmers in the 18th century and the very beginning of the 19th, I think. There weren't a lot of idle daylight hours left over for the purposes of courting, keeping candles lit cost money, and there was no place much to go for courting purposes anyway, except in the main room of the house with the rest of the family, or out in the cold; so they had "bundling" where we have "dates". In many cases there wasn't even a partition separating the couple; the two were just wrapped separately (i.e. not under the same sheet!). There was no bundling in Jane Austen's circle...--
Henry Churchyard firstname.lastname@example.org http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~churchh
Date: Wed, 13 Mar 1996 21:40:17 -0600
From: Darcy Veach
Subject: Bundling in New Englandthe custom of 'bundling'? 200 or so years ago courting couples were allowed to spend that night together in the same bed with a partition separating them. Physical contact was verboten and they were only allowed to talk. I remember reading something about Pres. Adams and his wife Abrigail doing this during their courtship.
It was almost exclusively a New England custom. It gave courting couples a little privacy during the cold New England winters. In those days [colonial times], Ben Franklin hadn't even invented his stove, so the corners of the main room further from the fireplace were freezing. Multipurpose rooms may have had a bed in one of the corners. A bedroom didn't even have a fireplace.
It was rare in the other colonies and, I think, non-existent in England. New England winters were a shock to the first settlers.
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