To Lady’s Maid or Not to Lady’s Maid

Chocolate maid

A Lady's maid delivering hot chocolate in the morning

Joanna here.  The other day I was thinking about a discussion on Twitter that talked about the life of a lady’s maid. This related somewhat tangentially to my own life since I am trying and failing to fix my clothes washer and have thus taken refuge in philosophy.

It is better than kicking the washer and swearing, I suppose.

The Twitter thread was touched off by a video of a woman getting dressed in the 1890s.

There were many frothy bits of clothing, all of which had to be tugged up or around or pulled over and then tied or buttoned.

Folks pointed out, rightly, that it would have taken a bit of time and a lot of wriggling and gymnastics to get the woman dressed. Look at all those layers, they said. Bet she had a maid to help.

maid brushing the evening cloak beforee wearing

maid brushing the evening cloak, last thing

Which observations led to folks also noticing that everything she put on had to be washed and ironed and put away and generally taken care of. Somebody had to do the work of that.

Much solidarity with the poor lady’s maid, of which I approve.

It got me to thinking about how this ladysmaiding worked at different levels of society.
Or, at least, at two levels of society.

I will call these the Pemberley level and the Longbourn level since this is a fiction-centric blog here.

 

Ww pemberley 1

Pemberly imagined

Pemberley is, of course, the grand mansion in which Fitzwilliam Darcy and his sister Georgiana hang out.

Darcy

Very rich

Mr. Darcy owns this big ‘ole hunking chunk of real estate, having inherited it from his father. Darcy is rich rich, rather than just a little rich. Like, the top 1% of the top 1% rich. His sister has a dowry of 30,000 pounds, which makes her one of the biggest prizes in England. His aunt is “Lady Catherine”. On his mother’s side he’s the grandson and nephew of an earl. He has such close ties to the nobility he might as well be titled.

 

Ww longborn 1

Longbourn, equally imagined in the movies

Longbourn is the family home of the Bennets. Principally Elizabeth Bennet, for whom Darcy has complicated, inappropriate, and reluctant hots.

Longbourn is a big comfortable house within walking distance of a small provincial town. The Bennets are not nobility. Not even close to it. But they move among the cream of their provincial society, confident they will hobnob with inhabitants of the major local houses, the equal of Sir William Lucas who made his fortune in trade and was later knighted. Elizabeth’s father is brother to a well-to-do merchant

Elizabeth bennet

Less rich, but pretty cool

and to a country attorney.

Call the Bennets solid members of the Regency 1%. Technical term: petty gentry.

(Petty from late C14, peti, meaning "small, little, minor." Not originally disparaging, as is still found in petty cash, petty officer, and here in petty gentry.)

The Bennets were members of a professional and entrepreneurial elite who worked, rather than lived on inherited wealth or land ownership. Elizabeth is sufficiently genteel to be asked to dance by a Mr. Darcy, but they are not social equals.

 Morland  Lady's Maid Soaping Linen

Maid doing the delicate cycle

So. Lady’s maids.

Pemberley had a plethora of servants.

How big a plethora?
Usual estimates for a very wealthy man’s country house staff in Victorian times are thirty or forty servants.

Just before the Great War, Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey was filmed, employed 25 maids, 14 footmen, and three chefs.

Neither estimate counts the gardeners or grooms or dairy maids or folks wandering around carrying rakes over their shoulders. The outdoor staff.

Georgiana Darcy certainly had a skilled lady’s maid—someone well-trained, who had no duties

James Gillray  1810

cinching in the waist was only the beginning

beyond looking after the clothing and appearance of young Georgiana.

Georgiana’s maid would not have been under the orders of the Pemberley housekeeper, Mrs. Reynolds. The lady’s maid worked only and directly for Georgiana. Her social status among servants was right up there at the top with the housekeeper and butler.

In a corporation she would have been the Vice President in charge of an important but independent subsidiary, lateral to the CEO and CFO.

As to the Longbourn servant squad …

Starting from the respectable working classes and moving upward, who employed how many and doing what?  

In 1857,

“The first living-in servant would be a 'general' maid-of-all-work, almost always a young girl often of only thirteen or fourteen: the next addition a house-maid or a nurse-maid, depending on the more urgent needs at the time. The third servant would be the cook, and these three … formed a group which could minimally minister to all the requirements of gentility.

At this point, the first manservant would usually appear, whose duties would combine indoor work such as waiting and valeting with care of the horse or pony and carriage.

“Beyond this, the progression was not so predictable. The fifth servant might be a lady's maid or a kitchen-maid to act as assistant to the cook, or a nursemaid if there was not one already. The sixth would almost certainly be another man, acting as butler and releasing the other as a wholetime coachman or groom, which would be necessary with ownership of a four-wheeled carriage and an income of £1,000 a year.”
    John Burnett, Professor of Social History, Brunel University

The Bennets are at that cusp where the “next servant” question diverges. They kept a carriage and five indoor servants; butler, cook, housekeeper, maid and scullery maid.

Lady Catherine and Elizabeth by C. E. Brock  1895

Probably Lady Catherine deplores Lizzie's lack of a lady's maid,
among other things

Did they have a shadowy sixth servant, another male who served as coachman and groom? It seems likely. He’s not mentioned, yet Mr. Bennet, according to Austen—who should know–had an income of 2000 pounds.

Maybe the coachman is just not interesting enough to put in a scene. Maybe Mrs. Bennet was very extravagant.

In any case, what the Bennets did not have was a lady’s maid. She'd have popped up some time or other.

So. What did Georgiana’s lady’s maid do in that fulltime employment she was holding down?

You ready for this?
You can just skip it and say to yourself, "the maid kept busy."

A lady’s maid dressed and groomed the mistress; styled her hair; advised on clothes; applied or assisted in applying cosmetics and perfumes; helped her mistress dress and undress, removed stains from clothing; sewed, mended, and altered garment; darned stockings; continually monitored every piece of clothing that left her care to be worn or washed; accounted for and was responsible for the protection of all jewelry; cleaned delicate and expensive fabrics by hand; brought her mistress morning tea in bed; possibly read aloud to her; massaged her temples when she had a headache; clipped her toenails; nursed her when she was sick; administered medicines; prepared her bath; brought up the washing-up water; freshened the bed chambers—picked up after her mistress, swept, polished, aired out, and dusted; cleaned and polished wash basins, glasses, and water jugs; changed bed linens; emptied the chamber pot; fetched and arranged flowers; laid the fire and lit it in the morning: trimmed candles and lamps: communicated with shop owners and tradesman in matters related to her mistress’ clothing, medical, and cosmetic purchases; performed secretarial tasks; delivered messages; took charge of packing for trips and, often, the journey itself; acted as chaperone.

Caraud The Levee

putting on her mistress' shoes

That was the state of the art at Pemberley. You can see why the lady’s maid was not only senior among the staff, but often one of the most well educated and well spoken. She might even learn a few dozen phrases in French and drop them into conversation.

Meanwhile, back at Longbourn.

Some of the lady's maid servanting stuff was just not done.

At Longbourn nobody kept an inventory of clothing, took charge of the family jewels, or intervened between Mrs. Bennet and the shopkeepers.

I doubt the household got tea in bed in the morning. (Well … maybe Mrs. Bennet.) The poor maid would be busy helping cook breakfast instead of preparing seven trays.

But most of the Pemberley task list actually did have to be done at Longbourn too, though not quite as obsessively. Work got split between the aforementioned harried housemaid and the women of the house.

Lady's maids and their mistresses got very close.
Here, the lady's maid is not impressed.

In Langbourn the housemaid dusted and swept, maybe did the plain sewing, brought up bathwater and carried away slops, made the fires, trimmed the lamps, changed the beds, and – I do suspect – picked up all the clothes the kids left on the floor, grumbling under her breath all the time.

Probably spent her half day off trying to find work in a house with no teenagers.

The women of the household did the rest.

Which brings us full circle to the Internet video of the woman getting dressed in 1895 clothing.

Did the woman have a lady's maid?
If her family income was about 1000 pounds she probably did.

But for most people …
All the wriggling, tying tabs at the back of your waist, doing up those awkward buttons, pulling big heavy dresses over your head and not catching them on your ears, rolling your hair up in back and sticking silk flowers in it, getting that fiddly catch on the necklace closed
… you called in the housemaid,

or you and your sisters did it turn and turn about.
That was how Jane Austen did it, I’m fairly sure.

If you could have a Lady’s maid to do one thing.
One luxurious thing.
What would it be?

Me – I’d want a personal-trainer Lady’s maid.

135 thoughts on “To Lady’s Maid or Not to Lady’s Maid”

  1. Longbourn was a working farm and the horses for the carriage were also needed for farm work. I wonder if the “missing” coachman was not actually one of the farm workers, doubling up jobs and driving the haywain as well as the carriage?
    Thinking about the servants throws a different light on Elizabeth’s walk to Netherfield: someone had to wash the six inches of mud from her petticoat. A job for the ‘general’ maid-of-all-work? Or could there be a local housewife who took in washing?

    Reply
  2. Longbourn was a working farm and the horses for the carriage were also needed for farm work. I wonder if the “missing” coachman was not actually one of the farm workers, doubling up jobs and driving the haywain as well as the carriage?
    Thinking about the servants throws a different light on Elizabeth’s walk to Netherfield: someone had to wash the six inches of mud from her petticoat. A job for the ‘general’ maid-of-all-work? Or could there be a local housewife who took in washing?

    Reply
  3. Longbourn was a working farm and the horses for the carriage were also needed for farm work. I wonder if the “missing” coachman was not actually one of the farm workers, doubling up jobs and driving the haywain as well as the carriage?
    Thinking about the servants throws a different light on Elizabeth’s walk to Netherfield: someone had to wash the six inches of mud from her petticoat. A job for the ‘general’ maid-of-all-work? Or could there be a local housewife who took in washing?

    Reply
  4. Longbourn was a working farm and the horses for the carriage were also needed for farm work. I wonder if the “missing” coachman was not actually one of the farm workers, doubling up jobs and driving the haywain as well as the carriage?
    Thinking about the servants throws a different light on Elizabeth’s walk to Netherfield: someone had to wash the six inches of mud from her petticoat. A job for the ‘general’ maid-of-all-work? Or could there be a local housewife who took in washing?

    Reply
  5. Longbourn was a working farm and the horses for the carriage were also needed for farm work. I wonder if the “missing” coachman was not actually one of the farm workers, doubling up jobs and driving the haywain as well as the carriage?
    Thinking about the servants throws a different light on Elizabeth’s walk to Netherfield: someone had to wash the six inches of mud from her petticoat. A job for the ‘general’ maid-of-all-work? Or could there be a local housewife who took in washing?

    Reply
  6. I would much prefer a general maid for myself, since my kids leave a mess everywhere. A cook/ kitchen/ cleaning maid would be wonderful. The clothing, I can handle.

    Reply
  7. I would much prefer a general maid for myself, since my kids leave a mess everywhere. A cook/ kitchen/ cleaning maid would be wonderful. The clothing, I can handle.

    Reply
  8. I would much prefer a general maid for myself, since my kids leave a mess everywhere. A cook/ kitchen/ cleaning maid would be wonderful. The clothing, I can handle.

    Reply
  9. I would much prefer a general maid for myself, since my kids leave a mess everywhere. A cook/ kitchen/ cleaning maid would be wonderful. The clothing, I can handle.

    Reply
  10. I would much prefer a general maid for myself, since my kids leave a mess everywhere. A cook/ kitchen/ cleaning maid would be wonderful. The clothing, I can handle.

    Reply
  11. Well, mending, darning and altering clothes sounds really good to me. But then so does massaging when I have a headache. I think I’d go with massages.

    Reply
  12. Well, mending, darning and altering clothes sounds really good to me. But then so does massaging when I have a headache. I think I’d go with massages.

    Reply
  13. Well, mending, darning and altering clothes sounds really good to me. But then so does massaging when I have a headache. I think I’d go with massages.

    Reply
  14. Well, mending, darning and altering clothes sounds really good to me. But then so does massaging when I have a headache. I think I’d go with massages.

    Reply
  15. Well, mending, darning and altering clothes sounds really good to me. But then so does massaging when I have a headache. I think I’d go with massages.

    Reply
  16. I’d love to have a lady’s maid to apply my makeup and wash, dry, and style my hair every day. I don’t mind the clothes chores. Oh fine. She could iron clothes too.

    Reply
  17. I’d love to have a lady’s maid to apply my makeup and wash, dry, and style my hair every day. I don’t mind the clothes chores. Oh fine. She could iron clothes too.

    Reply
  18. I’d love to have a lady’s maid to apply my makeup and wash, dry, and style my hair every day. I don’t mind the clothes chores. Oh fine. She could iron clothes too.

    Reply
  19. I’d love to have a lady’s maid to apply my makeup and wash, dry, and style my hair every day. I don’t mind the clothes chores. Oh fine. She could iron clothes too.

    Reply
  20. I’d love to have a lady’s maid to apply my makeup and wash, dry, and style my hair every day. I don’t mind the clothes chores. Oh fine. She could iron clothes too.

    Reply
  21. Elizabeth and Jane shared a bedroom and maided each other, I think. They would have helped each other get dressed and done each other’s hair. Also Lizzie and Jane seem to have had plenty of privacy to discuss personal things and we don’t hear of waiting for the abigail to leave before they can talk! 🙂
    I expect Kitty and Lydia shared a room also. Mary seems more of a loner. The housemaid was probably running room to room bringing things and helping the fussy ones.
    Perhaps when the kids were all younger there was a nursery maid who helped with child care? I don’t see Mrs. Bennet doing it 🙂
    The other tasks (bringing water for bathing and washing, making up fires, doing laundry, etc.) were done by the household servants — as you point out, the Bennets were gentry, not aristos. Probably rather like living in a comfortable hotel – for the family, things just appeared, and it was up to the housekeeper (Hill?) to see that they did so. Mrs. Bennet was likely not a talented manager; she would have been in the way with conflicting instructions all the time.
    One luxurious task? I’d like a lady’s maid to organize my closet because I’m sure I don’t know half the clothes I have in there anymore. Somewhere.

    Reply
  22. Elizabeth and Jane shared a bedroom and maided each other, I think. They would have helped each other get dressed and done each other’s hair. Also Lizzie and Jane seem to have had plenty of privacy to discuss personal things and we don’t hear of waiting for the abigail to leave before they can talk! 🙂
    I expect Kitty and Lydia shared a room also. Mary seems more of a loner. The housemaid was probably running room to room bringing things and helping the fussy ones.
    Perhaps when the kids were all younger there was a nursery maid who helped with child care? I don’t see Mrs. Bennet doing it 🙂
    The other tasks (bringing water for bathing and washing, making up fires, doing laundry, etc.) were done by the household servants — as you point out, the Bennets were gentry, not aristos. Probably rather like living in a comfortable hotel – for the family, things just appeared, and it was up to the housekeeper (Hill?) to see that they did so. Mrs. Bennet was likely not a talented manager; she would have been in the way with conflicting instructions all the time.
    One luxurious task? I’d like a lady’s maid to organize my closet because I’m sure I don’t know half the clothes I have in there anymore. Somewhere.

    Reply
  23. Elizabeth and Jane shared a bedroom and maided each other, I think. They would have helped each other get dressed and done each other’s hair. Also Lizzie and Jane seem to have had plenty of privacy to discuss personal things and we don’t hear of waiting for the abigail to leave before they can talk! 🙂
    I expect Kitty and Lydia shared a room also. Mary seems more of a loner. The housemaid was probably running room to room bringing things and helping the fussy ones.
    Perhaps when the kids were all younger there was a nursery maid who helped with child care? I don’t see Mrs. Bennet doing it 🙂
    The other tasks (bringing water for bathing and washing, making up fires, doing laundry, etc.) were done by the household servants — as you point out, the Bennets were gentry, not aristos. Probably rather like living in a comfortable hotel – for the family, things just appeared, and it was up to the housekeeper (Hill?) to see that they did so. Mrs. Bennet was likely not a talented manager; she would have been in the way with conflicting instructions all the time.
    One luxurious task? I’d like a lady’s maid to organize my closet because I’m sure I don’t know half the clothes I have in there anymore. Somewhere.

    Reply
  24. Elizabeth and Jane shared a bedroom and maided each other, I think. They would have helped each other get dressed and done each other’s hair. Also Lizzie and Jane seem to have had plenty of privacy to discuss personal things and we don’t hear of waiting for the abigail to leave before they can talk! 🙂
    I expect Kitty and Lydia shared a room also. Mary seems more of a loner. The housemaid was probably running room to room bringing things and helping the fussy ones.
    Perhaps when the kids were all younger there was a nursery maid who helped with child care? I don’t see Mrs. Bennet doing it 🙂
    The other tasks (bringing water for bathing and washing, making up fires, doing laundry, etc.) were done by the household servants — as you point out, the Bennets were gentry, not aristos. Probably rather like living in a comfortable hotel – for the family, things just appeared, and it was up to the housekeeper (Hill?) to see that they did so. Mrs. Bennet was likely not a talented manager; she would have been in the way with conflicting instructions all the time.
    One luxurious task? I’d like a lady’s maid to organize my closet because I’m sure I don’t know half the clothes I have in there anymore. Somewhere.

    Reply
  25. Elizabeth and Jane shared a bedroom and maided each other, I think. They would have helped each other get dressed and done each other’s hair. Also Lizzie and Jane seem to have had plenty of privacy to discuss personal things and we don’t hear of waiting for the abigail to leave before they can talk! 🙂
    I expect Kitty and Lydia shared a room also. Mary seems more of a loner. The housemaid was probably running room to room bringing things and helping the fussy ones.
    Perhaps when the kids were all younger there was a nursery maid who helped with child care? I don’t see Mrs. Bennet doing it 🙂
    The other tasks (bringing water for bathing and washing, making up fires, doing laundry, etc.) were done by the household servants — as you point out, the Bennets were gentry, not aristos. Probably rather like living in a comfortable hotel – for the family, things just appeared, and it was up to the housekeeper (Hill?) to see that they did so. Mrs. Bennet was likely not a talented manager; she would have been in the way with conflicting instructions all the time.
    One luxurious task? I’d like a lady’s maid to organize my closet because I’m sure I don’t know half the clothes I have in there anymore. Somewhere.

    Reply
  26. Like Cindy, I would prefer a general housemaid to do cleaning and washing! Although it would be a wonderful luxury to have someone brush my hair twice a day – so relaxing 🙂

    Reply
  27. Like Cindy, I would prefer a general housemaid to do cleaning and washing! Although it would be a wonderful luxury to have someone brush my hair twice a day – so relaxing 🙂

    Reply
  28. Like Cindy, I would prefer a general housemaid to do cleaning and washing! Although it would be a wonderful luxury to have someone brush my hair twice a day – so relaxing 🙂

    Reply
  29. Like Cindy, I would prefer a general housemaid to do cleaning and washing! Although it would be a wonderful luxury to have someone brush my hair twice a day – so relaxing 🙂

    Reply
  30. Like Cindy, I would prefer a general housemaid to do cleaning and washing! Although it would be a wonderful luxury to have someone brush my hair twice a day – so relaxing 🙂

    Reply
  31. This is a delightful blogpost! Thank you for sharing. One of my regrets is when P&P is required reading in US high schools the students aren’t given enough background into the lives of the characters, how wealthy-or not wealthy-they were and what that meant in real, day-to-day terms.

    Reply
  32. This is a delightful blogpost! Thank you for sharing. One of my regrets is when P&P is required reading in US high schools the students aren’t given enough background into the lives of the characters, how wealthy-or not wealthy-they were and what that meant in real, day-to-day terms.

    Reply
  33. This is a delightful blogpost! Thank you for sharing. One of my regrets is when P&P is required reading in US high schools the students aren’t given enough background into the lives of the characters, how wealthy-or not wealthy-they were and what that meant in real, day-to-day terms.

    Reply
  34. This is a delightful blogpost! Thank you for sharing. One of my regrets is when P&P is required reading in US high schools the students aren’t given enough background into the lives of the characters, how wealthy-or not wealthy-they were and what that meant in real, day-to-day terms.

    Reply
  35. This is a delightful blogpost! Thank you for sharing. One of my regrets is when P&P is required reading in US high schools the students aren’t given enough background into the lives of the characters, how wealthy-or not wealthy-they were and what that meant in real, day-to-day terms.

    Reply
  36. Joanna, this was marvelous! And it brings to mind the wonderful novel, Longbourn, by Jo Baker, which touched on so many of these issues as it is P & P from the perspective of the Bennetts’ housemaid. (And it is a beautiful book in its own right.)
    I’m torn. I think the idea of a personal trainer/lady’s maid is fantastic, but I’d also dearly love a cook. I prefer to eat healthy, well-balanced meals but so hate the hours of kitchen time required. But really, as long as we’re fantasizing, I’ll just take both, thank you very much!

    Reply
  37. Joanna, this was marvelous! And it brings to mind the wonderful novel, Longbourn, by Jo Baker, which touched on so many of these issues as it is P & P from the perspective of the Bennetts’ housemaid. (And it is a beautiful book in its own right.)
    I’m torn. I think the idea of a personal trainer/lady’s maid is fantastic, but I’d also dearly love a cook. I prefer to eat healthy, well-balanced meals but so hate the hours of kitchen time required. But really, as long as we’re fantasizing, I’ll just take both, thank you very much!

    Reply
  38. Joanna, this was marvelous! And it brings to mind the wonderful novel, Longbourn, by Jo Baker, which touched on so many of these issues as it is P & P from the perspective of the Bennetts’ housemaid. (And it is a beautiful book in its own right.)
    I’m torn. I think the idea of a personal trainer/lady’s maid is fantastic, but I’d also dearly love a cook. I prefer to eat healthy, well-balanced meals but so hate the hours of kitchen time required. But really, as long as we’re fantasizing, I’ll just take both, thank you very much!

    Reply
  39. Joanna, this was marvelous! And it brings to mind the wonderful novel, Longbourn, by Jo Baker, which touched on so many of these issues as it is P & P from the perspective of the Bennetts’ housemaid. (And it is a beautiful book in its own right.)
    I’m torn. I think the idea of a personal trainer/lady’s maid is fantastic, but I’d also dearly love a cook. I prefer to eat healthy, well-balanced meals but so hate the hours of kitchen time required. But really, as long as we’re fantasizing, I’ll just take both, thank you very much!

    Reply
  40. Joanna, this was marvelous! And it brings to mind the wonderful novel, Longbourn, by Jo Baker, which touched on so many of these issues as it is P & P from the perspective of the Bennetts’ housemaid. (And it is a beautiful book in its own right.)
    I’m torn. I think the idea of a personal trainer/lady’s maid is fantastic, but I’d also dearly love a cook. I prefer to eat healthy, well-balanced meals but so hate the hours of kitchen time required. But really, as long as we’re fantasizing, I’ll just take both, thank you very much!

    Reply
  41. Thanks for this post. You have given me something to think about. If I could have a personal maid it would be a person who could cut my hair and make it look less like a bush on my head.
    But, if I am honest, I do not believe I am someone who would like the idea of servants surrounding me.
    I am pretty sure, they would create an atmosphere which would mean I would never speak again, nor would I act like a normal human being. An audience would not make me happy.
    I had to begin taking care of myself when I was 3 years old. It would be a hard habit to break at this point in time.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  42. Thanks for this post. You have given me something to think about. If I could have a personal maid it would be a person who could cut my hair and make it look less like a bush on my head.
    But, if I am honest, I do not believe I am someone who would like the idea of servants surrounding me.
    I am pretty sure, they would create an atmosphere which would mean I would never speak again, nor would I act like a normal human being. An audience would not make me happy.
    I had to begin taking care of myself when I was 3 years old. It would be a hard habit to break at this point in time.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  43. Thanks for this post. You have given me something to think about. If I could have a personal maid it would be a person who could cut my hair and make it look less like a bush on my head.
    But, if I am honest, I do not believe I am someone who would like the idea of servants surrounding me.
    I am pretty sure, they would create an atmosphere which would mean I would never speak again, nor would I act like a normal human being. An audience would not make me happy.
    I had to begin taking care of myself when I was 3 years old. It would be a hard habit to break at this point in time.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  44. Thanks for this post. You have given me something to think about. If I could have a personal maid it would be a person who could cut my hair and make it look less like a bush on my head.
    But, if I am honest, I do not believe I am someone who would like the idea of servants surrounding me.
    I am pretty sure, they would create an atmosphere which would mean I would never speak again, nor would I act like a normal human being. An audience would not make me happy.
    I had to begin taking care of myself when I was 3 years old. It would be a hard habit to break at this point in time.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  45. Thanks for this post. You have given me something to think about. If I could have a personal maid it would be a person who could cut my hair and make it look less like a bush on my head.
    But, if I am honest, I do not believe I am someone who would like the idea of servants surrounding me.
    I am pretty sure, they would create an atmosphere which would mean I would never speak again, nor would I act like a normal human being. An audience would not make me happy.
    I had to begin taking care of myself when I was 3 years old. It would be a hard habit to break at this point in time.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  46. This was a fascinating post!! One thing struck me, I didn’t think the lady’s maid had to empty the chamber pot. I thought that would be beneath her. From all the stories I’ve read, a lot of these women had high opinions of themselves.
    I’d hate to have some one waiting on me! It would be my idea of hell.
    I really loved,’Darcy had, complicated, inappropriate, and reluctant hots’ for Elizabeth :):) Brilliant!

    Reply
  47. This was a fascinating post!! One thing struck me, I didn’t think the lady’s maid had to empty the chamber pot. I thought that would be beneath her. From all the stories I’ve read, a lot of these women had high opinions of themselves.
    I’d hate to have some one waiting on me! It would be my idea of hell.
    I really loved,’Darcy had, complicated, inappropriate, and reluctant hots’ for Elizabeth :):) Brilliant!

    Reply
  48. This was a fascinating post!! One thing struck me, I didn’t think the lady’s maid had to empty the chamber pot. I thought that would be beneath her. From all the stories I’ve read, a lot of these women had high opinions of themselves.
    I’d hate to have some one waiting on me! It would be my idea of hell.
    I really loved,’Darcy had, complicated, inappropriate, and reluctant hots’ for Elizabeth :):) Brilliant!

    Reply
  49. This was a fascinating post!! One thing struck me, I didn’t think the lady’s maid had to empty the chamber pot. I thought that would be beneath her. From all the stories I’ve read, a lot of these women had high opinions of themselves.
    I’d hate to have some one waiting on me! It would be my idea of hell.
    I really loved,’Darcy had, complicated, inappropriate, and reluctant hots’ for Elizabeth :):) Brilliant!

    Reply
  50. This was a fascinating post!! One thing struck me, I didn’t think the lady’s maid had to empty the chamber pot. I thought that would be beneath her. From all the stories I’ve read, a lot of these women had high opinions of themselves.
    I’d hate to have some one waiting on me! It would be my idea of hell.
    I really loved,’Darcy had, complicated, inappropriate, and reluctant hots’ for Elizabeth :):) Brilliant!

    Reply
  51. What a fun and informative post, Joanna. Thank you! I wouldn’t say no to having someone cut my toenails, but fortunately I am able to dress myself and deal with laundry. I’d happily have someone stop by every week or so to do some cleaning.

    Reply
  52. What a fun and informative post, Joanna. Thank you! I wouldn’t say no to having someone cut my toenails, but fortunately I am able to dress myself and deal with laundry. I’d happily have someone stop by every week or so to do some cleaning.

    Reply
  53. What a fun and informative post, Joanna. Thank you! I wouldn’t say no to having someone cut my toenails, but fortunately I am able to dress myself and deal with laundry. I’d happily have someone stop by every week or so to do some cleaning.

    Reply
  54. What a fun and informative post, Joanna. Thank you! I wouldn’t say no to having someone cut my toenails, but fortunately I am able to dress myself and deal with laundry. I’d happily have someone stop by every week or so to do some cleaning.

    Reply
  55. What a fun and informative post, Joanna. Thank you! I wouldn’t say no to having someone cut my toenails, but fortunately I am able to dress myself and deal with laundry. I’d happily have someone stop by every week or so to do some cleaning.

    Reply
  56. Laundry is a separate and interesting issue.
    One main consideration in doing the family laundry is space. Drying clothing in England, for most of the year, works better if you have an interior space to hang it.
    A Pemberley would have had such space and its own couple of laundry maids.
    The direly poor did what washing they could manage in a bucket or bowl and hung it on a line to dry in the living space.
    See
    https://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/urea-a-17th-18th-century-spot-remover-and-or-pee-as-a-cleansing-agent-jane-austens-world/
    Everybody else sent the laundry out to entrepreneurs who managed the whole business from pick up, through bleaching, to fluff and fold and delivery.
    That’s almost certainly what Longbourn did and in a small country town it would, indeed, most likely have been a country woman who did this as her side business.
    A coachman would have been a liveried servant. I could see special situations where he would also have helped out with farmwork during the busy season.
    But the Bennet family priorities for a single male servant would likely have been the heavy work inside the house and garden, being presentable while, dealing with visitors and deliveries, the care of four or five horses, and driving the coach.
    Probably cultivation of the home farm was left to agricultural specialists.

    Reply
  57. Laundry is a separate and interesting issue.
    One main consideration in doing the family laundry is space. Drying clothing in England, for most of the year, works better if you have an interior space to hang it.
    A Pemberley would have had such space and its own couple of laundry maids.
    The direly poor did what washing they could manage in a bucket or bowl and hung it on a line to dry in the living space.
    See
    https://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/urea-a-17th-18th-century-spot-remover-and-or-pee-as-a-cleansing-agent-jane-austens-world/
    Everybody else sent the laundry out to entrepreneurs who managed the whole business from pick up, through bleaching, to fluff and fold and delivery.
    That’s almost certainly what Longbourn did and in a small country town it would, indeed, most likely have been a country woman who did this as her side business.
    A coachman would have been a liveried servant. I could see special situations where he would also have helped out with farmwork during the busy season.
    But the Bennet family priorities for a single male servant would likely have been the heavy work inside the house and garden, being presentable while, dealing with visitors and deliveries, the care of four or five horses, and driving the coach.
    Probably cultivation of the home farm was left to agricultural specialists.

    Reply
  58. Laundry is a separate and interesting issue.
    One main consideration in doing the family laundry is space. Drying clothing in England, for most of the year, works better if you have an interior space to hang it.
    A Pemberley would have had such space and its own couple of laundry maids.
    The direly poor did what washing they could manage in a bucket or bowl and hung it on a line to dry in the living space.
    See
    https://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/urea-a-17th-18th-century-spot-remover-and-or-pee-as-a-cleansing-agent-jane-austens-world/
    Everybody else sent the laundry out to entrepreneurs who managed the whole business from pick up, through bleaching, to fluff and fold and delivery.
    That’s almost certainly what Longbourn did and in a small country town it would, indeed, most likely have been a country woman who did this as her side business.
    A coachman would have been a liveried servant. I could see special situations where he would also have helped out with farmwork during the busy season.
    But the Bennet family priorities for a single male servant would likely have been the heavy work inside the house and garden, being presentable while, dealing with visitors and deliveries, the care of four or five horses, and driving the coach.
    Probably cultivation of the home farm was left to agricultural specialists.

    Reply
  59. Laundry is a separate and interesting issue.
    One main consideration in doing the family laundry is space. Drying clothing in England, for most of the year, works better if you have an interior space to hang it.
    A Pemberley would have had such space and its own couple of laundry maids.
    The direly poor did what washing they could manage in a bucket or bowl and hung it on a line to dry in the living space.
    See
    https://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/urea-a-17th-18th-century-spot-remover-and-or-pee-as-a-cleansing-agent-jane-austens-world/
    Everybody else sent the laundry out to entrepreneurs who managed the whole business from pick up, through bleaching, to fluff and fold and delivery.
    That’s almost certainly what Longbourn did and in a small country town it would, indeed, most likely have been a country woman who did this as her side business.
    A coachman would have been a liveried servant. I could see special situations where he would also have helped out with farmwork during the busy season.
    But the Bennet family priorities for a single male servant would likely have been the heavy work inside the house and garden, being presentable while, dealing with visitors and deliveries, the care of four or five horses, and driving the coach.
    Probably cultivation of the home farm was left to agricultural specialists.

    Reply
  60. Laundry is a separate and interesting issue.
    One main consideration in doing the family laundry is space. Drying clothing in England, for most of the year, works better if you have an interior space to hang it.
    A Pemberley would have had such space and its own couple of laundry maids.
    The direly poor did what washing they could manage in a bucket or bowl and hung it on a line to dry in the living space.
    See
    https://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/urea-a-17th-18th-century-spot-remover-and-or-pee-as-a-cleansing-agent-jane-austens-world/
    Everybody else sent the laundry out to entrepreneurs who managed the whole business from pick up, through bleaching, to fluff and fold and delivery.
    That’s almost certainly what Longbourn did and in a small country town it would, indeed, most likely have been a country woman who did this as her side business.
    A coachman would have been a liveried servant. I could see special situations where he would also have helped out with farmwork during the busy season.
    But the Bennet family priorities for a single male servant would likely have been the heavy work inside the house and garden, being presentable while, dealing with visitors and deliveries, the care of four or five horses, and driving the coach.
    Probably cultivation of the home farm was left to agricultural specialists.

    Reply
  61. Interesting.
    I wouldn’t want someone putting on my makeup. I don’t even like to get my hair cut because of the closeness.
    I may be odd this way …
    But wouldn’t it be wonderful to have somebody who could get all that sort of thing … right!

    Reply
  62. Interesting.
    I wouldn’t want someone putting on my makeup. I don’t even like to get my hair cut because of the closeness.
    I may be odd this way …
    But wouldn’t it be wonderful to have somebody who could get all that sort of thing … right!

    Reply
  63. Interesting.
    I wouldn’t want someone putting on my makeup. I don’t even like to get my hair cut because of the closeness.
    I may be odd this way …
    But wouldn’t it be wonderful to have somebody who could get all that sort of thing … right!

    Reply
  64. Interesting.
    I wouldn’t want someone putting on my makeup. I don’t even like to get my hair cut because of the closeness.
    I may be odd this way …
    But wouldn’t it be wonderful to have somebody who could get all that sort of thing … right!

    Reply
  65. Interesting.
    I wouldn’t want someone putting on my makeup. I don’t even like to get my hair cut because of the closeness.
    I may be odd this way …
    But wouldn’t it be wonderful to have somebody who could get all that sort of thing … right!

    Reply
  66. I think you have the Bennet household down to a tee. Rather a lot of confusion and not enough bedrooms for everybody to have their own.
    (Though they did have a guest room for Mr. Collins.)
    I’ve always though it would be fun to run a business where I went in and organized other people’s stuff.
    And got paid for it.
    And didn’t have to do the actual work, just give advice.

    Reply
  67. I think you have the Bennet household down to a tee. Rather a lot of confusion and not enough bedrooms for everybody to have their own.
    (Though they did have a guest room for Mr. Collins.)
    I’ve always though it would be fun to run a business where I went in and organized other people’s stuff.
    And got paid for it.
    And didn’t have to do the actual work, just give advice.

    Reply
  68. I think you have the Bennet household down to a tee. Rather a lot of confusion and not enough bedrooms for everybody to have their own.
    (Though they did have a guest room for Mr. Collins.)
    I’ve always though it would be fun to run a business where I went in and organized other people’s stuff.
    And got paid for it.
    And didn’t have to do the actual work, just give advice.

    Reply
  69. I think you have the Bennet household down to a tee. Rather a lot of confusion and not enough bedrooms for everybody to have their own.
    (Though they did have a guest room for Mr. Collins.)
    I’ve always though it would be fun to run a business where I went in and organized other people’s stuff.
    And got paid for it.
    And didn’t have to do the actual work, just give advice.

    Reply
  70. I think you have the Bennet household down to a tee. Rather a lot of confusion and not enough bedrooms for everybody to have their own.
    (Though they did have a guest room for Mr. Collins.)
    I’ve always though it would be fun to run a business where I went in and organized other people’s stuff.
    And got paid for it.
    And didn’t have to do the actual work, just give advice.

    Reply
  71. The world seems to be split on whether we’re supposed to brush our hair religiously 100 strokes before bedtime

    or my own mother’s view which was to brush the hair enough to make it happy and then leave it be.
    I think it must be good for the scalp to pay some attention to it.

    Reply
  72. The world seems to be split on whether we’re supposed to brush our hair religiously 100 strokes before bedtime

    or my own mother’s view which was to brush the hair enough to make it happy and then leave it be.
    I think it must be good for the scalp to pay some attention to it.

    Reply
  73. The world seems to be split on whether we’re supposed to brush our hair religiously 100 strokes before bedtime

    or my own mother’s view which was to brush the hair enough to make it happy and then leave it be.
    I think it must be good for the scalp to pay some attention to it.

    Reply
  74. The world seems to be split on whether we’re supposed to brush our hair religiously 100 strokes before bedtime

    or my own mother’s view which was to brush the hair enough to make it happy and then leave it be.
    I think it must be good for the scalp to pay some attention to it.

    Reply
  75. The world seems to be split on whether we’re supposed to brush our hair religiously 100 strokes before bedtime

    or my own mother’s view which was to brush the hair enough to make it happy and then leave it be.
    I think it must be good for the scalp to pay some attention to it.

    Reply
  76. I’ll have to get hold of the Baker book.
    The secret of having servants, I think, is having a big house or else being out all day at your beloved job.
    I think I’d go nuts with somebody underfoot all the time, especially if I were working at home.
    Maybe the thing to do is have a cook who comes sneaking in, prepares scrumptious meals in silence, puts them in the refrigerator, and then sneaks out …
    Maybe what I want is brownies.

    Reply
  77. I’ll have to get hold of the Baker book.
    The secret of having servants, I think, is having a big house or else being out all day at your beloved job.
    I think I’d go nuts with somebody underfoot all the time, especially if I were working at home.
    Maybe the thing to do is have a cook who comes sneaking in, prepares scrumptious meals in silence, puts them in the refrigerator, and then sneaks out …
    Maybe what I want is brownies.

    Reply
  78. I’ll have to get hold of the Baker book.
    The secret of having servants, I think, is having a big house or else being out all day at your beloved job.
    I think I’d go nuts with somebody underfoot all the time, especially if I were working at home.
    Maybe the thing to do is have a cook who comes sneaking in, prepares scrumptious meals in silence, puts them in the refrigerator, and then sneaks out …
    Maybe what I want is brownies.

    Reply
  79. I’ll have to get hold of the Baker book.
    The secret of having servants, I think, is having a big house or else being out all day at your beloved job.
    I think I’d go nuts with somebody underfoot all the time, especially if I were working at home.
    Maybe the thing to do is have a cook who comes sneaking in, prepares scrumptious meals in silence, puts them in the refrigerator, and then sneaks out …
    Maybe what I want is brownies.

    Reply
  80. I’ll have to get hold of the Baker book.
    The secret of having servants, I think, is having a big house or else being out all day at your beloved job.
    I think I’d go nuts with somebody underfoot all the time, especially if I were working at home.
    Maybe the thing to do is have a cook who comes sneaking in, prepares scrumptious meals in silence, puts them in the refrigerator, and then sneaks out …
    Maybe what I want is brownies.

    Reply
  81. I join you in worrying about everybody over this winter.
    The business of having folks working IN the household is a bit uncomfortable. They’d bee too much at the edge of my mind all the time.
    Maybe the ideal would be having a REALLY enthusiastic gardener who would –I dunnoh —
    put in a big food patch down in the back.
    And a water feature with koi.
    And flowers everywhere.
    And build on a big front porch with cushy chairs.

    Reply
  82. I join you in worrying about everybody over this winter.
    The business of having folks working IN the household is a bit uncomfortable. They’d bee too much at the edge of my mind all the time.
    Maybe the ideal would be having a REALLY enthusiastic gardener who would –I dunnoh —
    put in a big food patch down in the back.
    And a water feature with koi.
    And flowers everywhere.
    And build on a big front porch with cushy chairs.

    Reply
  83. I join you in worrying about everybody over this winter.
    The business of having folks working IN the household is a bit uncomfortable. They’d bee too much at the edge of my mind all the time.
    Maybe the ideal would be having a REALLY enthusiastic gardener who would –I dunnoh —
    put in a big food patch down in the back.
    And a water feature with koi.
    And flowers everywhere.
    And build on a big front porch with cushy chairs.

    Reply
  84. I join you in worrying about everybody over this winter.
    The business of having folks working IN the household is a bit uncomfortable. They’d bee too much at the edge of my mind all the time.
    Maybe the ideal would be having a REALLY enthusiastic gardener who would –I dunnoh —
    put in a big food patch down in the back.
    And a water feature with koi.
    And flowers everywhere.
    And build on a big front porch with cushy chairs.

    Reply
  85. I join you in worrying about everybody over this winter.
    The business of having folks working IN the household is a bit uncomfortable. They’d bee too much at the edge of my mind all the time.
    Maybe the ideal would be having a REALLY enthusiastic gardener who would –I dunnoh —
    put in a big food patch down in the back.
    And a water feature with koi.
    And flowers everywhere.
    And build on a big front porch with cushy chairs.

    Reply
  86. I found relatively little info on the chamber pot customs.
    The general desiderata was that the lady’s maid herself kept the room clean. This excluded menial servants from entry and protected the privacy of the lady.
    Scrubbing the floor, cleaning windows, carrying out ashes from the fireplace, polishing the andirons, hauling coal, supplying firewood (used in France more often than coal in C18 and early C19) and so on
    were supposed to take place when the mistress was not in her room.
    Carrying in and out the bath tub and bath water was an obvious exception.
    Chamber pots, for some reason, don’t get talked about much.
    We know yer really really haut types — royalty and high nobility — had their slightly-less-but-still-pretty-haut-type attendants perform this function.
    At Pemberley I see the lady’s maid pulling the pot out from the close stool when she’s pulling the curtains open and lighting the fire and laying the clothes out. I think she’d hand it over to the maid who brought up the hot water for washing and is now standing about being secondary.
    Pemberley will have a spare maid who can assist the lady’s maid in doing all these useful things.
    At Longbourn I see the family leaving theirs under the bed and the maid comes up to collect them after breakfast.
    The country people here, in living memory, carried their own chamber pots neatly downstairs every morning and emptied them out in the privy.
    Longbourn, if it did indeed have only one housemaid, may have followed this same custom for the girls.

    Reply
  87. I found relatively little info on the chamber pot customs.
    The general desiderata was that the lady’s maid herself kept the room clean. This excluded menial servants from entry and protected the privacy of the lady.
    Scrubbing the floor, cleaning windows, carrying out ashes from the fireplace, polishing the andirons, hauling coal, supplying firewood (used in France more often than coal in C18 and early C19) and so on
    were supposed to take place when the mistress was not in her room.
    Carrying in and out the bath tub and bath water was an obvious exception.
    Chamber pots, for some reason, don’t get talked about much.
    We know yer really really haut types — royalty and high nobility — had their slightly-less-but-still-pretty-haut-type attendants perform this function.
    At Pemberley I see the lady’s maid pulling the pot out from the close stool when she’s pulling the curtains open and lighting the fire and laying the clothes out. I think she’d hand it over to the maid who brought up the hot water for washing and is now standing about being secondary.
    Pemberley will have a spare maid who can assist the lady’s maid in doing all these useful things.
    At Longbourn I see the family leaving theirs under the bed and the maid comes up to collect them after breakfast.
    The country people here, in living memory, carried their own chamber pots neatly downstairs every morning and emptied them out in the privy.
    Longbourn, if it did indeed have only one housemaid, may have followed this same custom for the girls.

    Reply
  88. I found relatively little info on the chamber pot customs.
    The general desiderata was that the lady’s maid herself kept the room clean. This excluded menial servants from entry and protected the privacy of the lady.
    Scrubbing the floor, cleaning windows, carrying out ashes from the fireplace, polishing the andirons, hauling coal, supplying firewood (used in France more often than coal in C18 and early C19) and so on
    were supposed to take place when the mistress was not in her room.
    Carrying in and out the bath tub and bath water was an obvious exception.
    Chamber pots, for some reason, don’t get talked about much.
    We know yer really really haut types — royalty and high nobility — had their slightly-less-but-still-pretty-haut-type attendants perform this function.
    At Pemberley I see the lady’s maid pulling the pot out from the close stool when she’s pulling the curtains open and lighting the fire and laying the clothes out. I think she’d hand it over to the maid who brought up the hot water for washing and is now standing about being secondary.
    Pemberley will have a spare maid who can assist the lady’s maid in doing all these useful things.
    At Longbourn I see the family leaving theirs under the bed and the maid comes up to collect them after breakfast.
    The country people here, in living memory, carried their own chamber pots neatly downstairs every morning and emptied them out in the privy.
    Longbourn, if it did indeed have only one housemaid, may have followed this same custom for the girls.

    Reply
  89. I found relatively little info on the chamber pot customs.
    The general desiderata was that the lady’s maid herself kept the room clean. This excluded menial servants from entry and protected the privacy of the lady.
    Scrubbing the floor, cleaning windows, carrying out ashes from the fireplace, polishing the andirons, hauling coal, supplying firewood (used in France more often than coal in C18 and early C19) and so on
    were supposed to take place when the mistress was not in her room.
    Carrying in and out the bath tub and bath water was an obvious exception.
    Chamber pots, for some reason, don’t get talked about much.
    We know yer really really haut types — royalty and high nobility — had their slightly-less-but-still-pretty-haut-type attendants perform this function.
    At Pemberley I see the lady’s maid pulling the pot out from the close stool when she’s pulling the curtains open and lighting the fire and laying the clothes out. I think she’d hand it over to the maid who brought up the hot water for washing and is now standing about being secondary.
    Pemberley will have a spare maid who can assist the lady’s maid in doing all these useful things.
    At Longbourn I see the family leaving theirs under the bed and the maid comes up to collect them after breakfast.
    The country people here, in living memory, carried their own chamber pots neatly downstairs every morning and emptied them out in the privy.
    Longbourn, if it did indeed have only one housemaid, may have followed this same custom for the girls.

    Reply
  90. I found relatively little info on the chamber pot customs.
    The general desiderata was that the lady’s maid herself kept the room clean. This excluded menial servants from entry and protected the privacy of the lady.
    Scrubbing the floor, cleaning windows, carrying out ashes from the fireplace, polishing the andirons, hauling coal, supplying firewood (used in France more often than coal in C18 and early C19) and so on
    were supposed to take place when the mistress was not in her room.
    Carrying in and out the bath tub and bath water was an obvious exception.
    Chamber pots, for some reason, don’t get talked about much.
    We know yer really really haut types — royalty and high nobility — had their slightly-less-but-still-pretty-haut-type attendants perform this function.
    At Pemberley I see the lady’s maid pulling the pot out from the close stool when she’s pulling the curtains open and lighting the fire and laying the clothes out. I think she’d hand it over to the maid who brought up the hot water for washing and is now standing about being secondary.
    Pemberley will have a spare maid who can assist the lady’s maid in doing all these useful things.
    At Longbourn I see the family leaving theirs under the bed and the maid comes up to collect them after breakfast.
    The country people here, in living memory, carried their own chamber pots neatly downstairs every morning and emptied them out in the privy.
    Longbourn, if it did indeed have only one housemaid, may have followed this same custom for the girls.

    Reply
  91. I truly hate housecleaning.
    I have decided, above, that I need brownies. The world is a poorly designed place that these are not routinely supplied.
    I am so glad to live in an era and to be able to follow a lifestyle so that my clothing is about as simple as clothing gets.
    The C21 has been kind to us this way.

    Reply
  92. I truly hate housecleaning.
    I have decided, above, that I need brownies. The world is a poorly designed place that these are not routinely supplied.
    I am so glad to live in an era and to be able to follow a lifestyle so that my clothing is about as simple as clothing gets.
    The C21 has been kind to us this way.

    Reply
  93. I truly hate housecleaning.
    I have decided, above, that I need brownies. The world is a poorly designed place that these are not routinely supplied.
    I am so glad to live in an era and to be able to follow a lifestyle so that my clothing is about as simple as clothing gets.
    The C21 has been kind to us this way.

    Reply
  94. I truly hate housecleaning.
    I have decided, above, that I need brownies. The world is a poorly designed place that these are not routinely supplied.
    I am so glad to live in an era and to be able to follow a lifestyle so that my clothing is about as simple as clothing gets.
    The C21 has been kind to us this way.

    Reply
  95. I truly hate housecleaning.
    I have decided, above, that I need brownies. The world is a poorly designed place that these are not routinely supplied.
    I am so glad to live in an era and to be able to follow a lifestyle so that my clothing is about as simple as clothing gets.
    The C21 has been kind to us this way.

    Reply
  96. I used to have such a job in part and I can tell you that it’s not all peaches and cream. Sure, you get to tell other people to do the work but you’re still responsible for making sure they did it properly and if they didn’t do it at all, then guess who gets to stay late and cover for them 🙂
    As for the bedrooms I would guess that they probably did have a guest room or two, but if they didn’t they just told Mary, the odd sister, to share with her sisters. It could also be that Elizabeth and Jane shared a room because they wanted to, not because they had to.

    Reply
  97. I used to have such a job in part and I can tell you that it’s not all peaches and cream. Sure, you get to tell other people to do the work but you’re still responsible for making sure they did it properly and if they didn’t do it at all, then guess who gets to stay late and cover for them 🙂
    As for the bedrooms I would guess that they probably did have a guest room or two, but if they didn’t they just told Mary, the odd sister, to share with her sisters. It could also be that Elizabeth and Jane shared a room because they wanted to, not because they had to.

    Reply
  98. I used to have such a job in part and I can tell you that it’s not all peaches and cream. Sure, you get to tell other people to do the work but you’re still responsible for making sure they did it properly and if they didn’t do it at all, then guess who gets to stay late and cover for them 🙂
    As for the bedrooms I would guess that they probably did have a guest room or two, but if they didn’t they just told Mary, the odd sister, to share with her sisters. It could also be that Elizabeth and Jane shared a room because they wanted to, not because they had to.

    Reply
  99. I used to have such a job in part and I can tell you that it’s not all peaches and cream. Sure, you get to tell other people to do the work but you’re still responsible for making sure they did it properly and if they didn’t do it at all, then guess who gets to stay late and cover for them 🙂
    As for the bedrooms I would guess that they probably did have a guest room or two, but if they didn’t they just told Mary, the odd sister, to share with her sisters. It could also be that Elizabeth and Jane shared a room because they wanted to, not because they had to.

    Reply
  100. I used to have such a job in part and I can tell you that it’s not all peaches and cream. Sure, you get to tell other people to do the work but you’re still responsible for making sure they did it properly and if they didn’t do it at all, then guess who gets to stay late and cover for them 🙂
    As for the bedrooms I would guess that they probably did have a guest room or two, but if they didn’t they just told Mary, the odd sister, to share with her sisters. It could also be that Elizabeth and Jane shared a room because they wanted to, not because they had to.

    Reply
  101. I am with you as regards brownies though I will happily accept chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cups, or most forms of chocolate.

    Reply
  102. I am with you as regards brownies though I will happily accept chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cups, or most forms of chocolate.

    Reply
  103. I am with you as regards brownies though I will happily accept chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cups, or most forms of chocolate.

    Reply
  104. I am with you as regards brownies though I will happily accept chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cups, or most forms of chocolate.

    Reply
  105. I am with you as regards brownies though I will happily accept chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cups, or most forms of chocolate.

    Reply
  106. Fascinating stuff – I do love Social History. I wonder if it is worth noting that the overwhelming anxiety of Mrs Bennett and daughters was that Longbourn was entailed and the deeply unattractive Mr Collins was going to inherit everything eventually, leaving them destitute. The fact that the small estate was entailed and that there is no mention of Mr Bennett having a profession suggests the family was socially a little ‘raised above’ their immediate neighbours. Perhaps Mr Bennett married ‘down’ both socially as well as intellectually?
    Finally, I have always craved a chauffeur – so a maid who could drive?

    Reply
  107. Fascinating stuff – I do love Social History. I wonder if it is worth noting that the overwhelming anxiety of Mrs Bennett and daughters was that Longbourn was entailed and the deeply unattractive Mr Collins was going to inherit everything eventually, leaving them destitute. The fact that the small estate was entailed and that there is no mention of Mr Bennett having a profession suggests the family was socially a little ‘raised above’ their immediate neighbours. Perhaps Mr Bennett married ‘down’ both socially as well as intellectually?
    Finally, I have always craved a chauffeur – so a maid who could drive?

    Reply
  108. Fascinating stuff – I do love Social History. I wonder if it is worth noting that the overwhelming anxiety of Mrs Bennett and daughters was that Longbourn was entailed and the deeply unattractive Mr Collins was going to inherit everything eventually, leaving them destitute. The fact that the small estate was entailed and that there is no mention of Mr Bennett having a profession suggests the family was socially a little ‘raised above’ their immediate neighbours. Perhaps Mr Bennett married ‘down’ both socially as well as intellectually?
    Finally, I have always craved a chauffeur – so a maid who could drive?

    Reply
  109. Fascinating stuff – I do love Social History. I wonder if it is worth noting that the overwhelming anxiety of Mrs Bennett and daughters was that Longbourn was entailed and the deeply unattractive Mr Collins was going to inherit everything eventually, leaving them destitute. The fact that the small estate was entailed and that there is no mention of Mr Bennett having a profession suggests the family was socially a little ‘raised above’ their immediate neighbours. Perhaps Mr Bennett married ‘down’ both socially as well as intellectually?
    Finally, I have always craved a chauffeur – so a maid who could drive?

    Reply
  110. Fascinating stuff – I do love Social History. I wonder if it is worth noting that the overwhelming anxiety of Mrs Bennett and daughters was that Longbourn was entailed and the deeply unattractive Mr Collins was going to inherit everything eventually, leaving them destitute. The fact that the small estate was entailed and that there is no mention of Mr Bennett having a profession suggests the family was socially a little ‘raised above’ their immediate neighbours. Perhaps Mr Bennett married ‘down’ both socially as well as intellectually?
    Finally, I have always craved a chauffeur – so a maid who could drive?

    Reply
  111. Yes indeed, Mrs. Bennett would have been desperately worried about the future of her daughters — and herself — when their fate depended on her brothers and the kindness, or not, of Mr. Collins.
    The neighborhood would have fit the Bennetts into the complex social web of the community by adding up a column of Mr. Bennett’s income, the beauty, grace, and wit of the two eldest daughters, their marriage prospects, and Mrs. Bennett’s respectable and well-to-do brothers.
    They would have subtracted a column that contained Mrs. Bennett’s deplorable vulgarity, the behavior of the three youngest daughters, Mr.Bennett’s eccentricity, and his lack of fiscal responsibility that left the Bennetts without resources upon Mr. Bennett’s death.
    The minus column was significant. The Bennetts would have been welcome everywhere, but the most substantial people in the neighborhood would not have encouraged their sons to marry into the Bennett family.

    Reply
  112. Yes indeed, Mrs. Bennett would have been desperately worried about the future of her daughters — and herself — when their fate depended on her brothers and the kindness, or not, of Mr. Collins.
    The neighborhood would have fit the Bennetts into the complex social web of the community by adding up a column of Mr. Bennett’s income, the beauty, grace, and wit of the two eldest daughters, their marriage prospects, and Mrs. Bennett’s respectable and well-to-do brothers.
    They would have subtracted a column that contained Mrs. Bennett’s deplorable vulgarity, the behavior of the three youngest daughters, Mr.Bennett’s eccentricity, and his lack of fiscal responsibility that left the Bennetts without resources upon Mr. Bennett’s death.
    The minus column was significant. The Bennetts would have been welcome everywhere, but the most substantial people in the neighborhood would not have encouraged their sons to marry into the Bennett family.

    Reply
  113. Yes indeed, Mrs. Bennett would have been desperately worried about the future of her daughters — and herself — when their fate depended on her brothers and the kindness, or not, of Mr. Collins.
    The neighborhood would have fit the Bennetts into the complex social web of the community by adding up a column of Mr. Bennett’s income, the beauty, grace, and wit of the two eldest daughters, their marriage prospects, and Mrs. Bennett’s respectable and well-to-do brothers.
    They would have subtracted a column that contained Mrs. Bennett’s deplorable vulgarity, the behavior of the three youngest daughters, Mr.Bennett’s eccentricity, and his lack of fiscal responsibility that left the Bennetts without resources upon Mr. Bennett’s death.
    The minus column was significant. The Bennetts would have been welcome everywhere, but the most substantial people in the neighborhood would not have encouraged their sons to marry into the Bennett family.

    Reply
  114. Yes indeed, Mrs. Bennett would have been desperately worried about the future of her daughters — and herself — when their fate depended on her brothers and the kindness, or not, of Mr. Collins.
    The neighborhood would have fit the Bennetts into the complex social web of the community by adding up a column of Mr. Bennett’s income, the beauty, grace, and wit of the two eldest daughters, their marriage prospects, and Mrs. Bennett’s respectable and well-to-do brothers.
    They would have subtracted a column that contained Mrs. Bennett’s deplorable vulgarity, the behavior of the three youngest daughters, Mr.Bennett’s eccentricity, and his lack of fiscal responsibility that left the Bennetts without resources upon Mr. Bennett’s death.
    The minus column was significant. The Bennetts would have been welcome everywhere, but the most substantial people in the neighborhood would not have encouraged their sons to marry into the Bennett family.

    Reply
  115. Yes indeed, Mrs. Bennett would have been desperately worried about the future of her daughters — and herself — when their fate depended on her brothers and the kindness, or not, of Mr. Collins.
    The neighborhood would have fit the Bennetts into the complex social web of the community by adding up a column of Mr. Bennett’s income, the beauty, grace, and wit of the two eldest daughters, their marriage prospects, and Mrs. Bennett’s respectable and well-to-do brothers.
    They would have subtracted a column that contained Mrs. Bennett’s deplorable vulgarity, the behavior of the three youngest daughters, Mr.Bennett’s eccentricity, and his lack of fiscal responsibility that left the Bennetts without resources upon Mr. Bennett’s death.
    The minus column was significant. The Bennetts would have been welcome everywhere, but the most substantial people in the neighborhood would not have encouraged their sons to marry into the Bennett family.

    Reply

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