Daily Rounds of a Country Gentlewoman
Posted by Gayle on August 17, 1998 at 19:49:46:
In response to I mean how would they spend their day,thank you (NFM), written by Mia on August 17, 1998 at 12:33:57
I have a wonderful book that my husband bought for me when I first became interested in Jane Austen. Title is Jane Austen: In Style and it is written by Susan Watkins, published by Thames and Hudson of London in 1996. This is what my book has to say regarding the "daily round of a country gentlewoman."
"Once married, most ladies of rank and fortune found numerous interests to occupy the day....During the interval before breakfast -- served at ten o'clock -- there was perhaps time to begin the day's letter-writing, maintaining the communication of domestic events and minutiae between family members, relatives and friends. The writing and receiving of letters was an important part of the daily routine for all ladies, married or not....Either before or after breakfast ladies dealt with household accounts; this might include a discussion with the housekeeper or cook. It was also a time for reviewing menus and perhaps the preparations for receiving guests. Household business was not necessarily a daily occupation -- it might occur weekly or monthly -- but it always included the studious recording of accounts in a bound ledger....During the course of the day, a lady might take a music lesson or simply practice. If the weather cooperated, a stroll in the park, a "walk-out" to visit nearby neighbours, or "riding-out" in the carriage might be contemplated....The round of visits often included calling upon the community's poor....In the early evening, the Master and Mistress of the house, their family and guests, would dress for dinner. Following dinner, the gentlemen would remain in the dinning room while the ladies withdrew to their feminine domain, the drawing room, where the gentlemen later joined them for tea and refreshments. Amusements for the evening customarily included cards, music and singing, or reading and conversation, followed by a light supper and bed...The broader diversions of a gentlewoman included, as previously mentioned, a season in London or Bath to join in the delights of concerts, exhibitions, pleasure gardens and the theatre, shopping and select company. In addition, a sojourn in other spas, such as Tunbridge Wells or Cheltenham, and a visit to one of the coastal resorts might be undertaken. Long stays with relatives living at a distance also came into the annual social calendar."
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