Working gal

Mycabbage
Heeeeeeere’s Jo! Okay, I’m late again. Getting into the Saturday Girl job is proving a bit sticky.

I’m not unemployed, thank heavens, but I’m not exactly employed either. They call it self-employed, but that’s not quite right either because it implies that SELF might be watching the clock, scolding if I’m not writing or doing writing-related tasks at certain hours, and even — what a thought — giving me days off and paid holidays.

No, what I am is “freelance.” Free of the shackles of day-to-day routine but still obliged, by inclination and commitments freely entered into, to produce saleable goods in my own eccentric way.

Which sort of makes me like an aristocrat, I think. I’ll get back to that.

My husband is also unemployed, though I employ him as business manager and resident tech wizard. Most of the time he, too, is free of the shackles of day-to-day routine, though still obliged etc etc.

The point is? The point is that days of the week and weekends mean little to us and it’s really easy to lose track of them. I’ve even started moving a little pink dot along the days to help me keep track. I’ve now written my blog day on the calendar — on Friday, because that’s when a west coaster needs to do it to get it online in a reasonable way.

Which brings me back to aristocrats.

Most historical novels, especially romances, are about aristocrats, but I find I’m often annoyed by the way their lifestyle is constructed. All too often they either have jobs — estate manager, soldier, doctor, music teacher, spy, even though they have title, land, and no need of money. This is because in romanceland, not having a job means you’re an idle wastrel.
Port1_1

Too rarely do we see the peer of the realm who has many demands on his time. No, he doesn’t have an employer dictating his days, nor does he have set hours to do this or that (though I like to see him spending a good bit of time in the House of Lords helping to run his country, if only as an aside.) But he, like the freelance writer, has many things that have to get done or there are consequences. Often portraits, as with this one, show them with some “tools of the trade” such as books, ledgers, globes etc.

This applies particularly to heroines. For some reason I don’t come across many governesses and companions in historical romance today, perhaps because those seem feeble occupations, but they are the most realistic. Instead, many heroines are busy at jobs more suited to the 20th if not the 21st century. Simply being a peer’s daughter and looking to marry doesn’t quite fit the bill?

Shame, because I write that a lot. It certainly doesn’t mean she has to be an idle wastrel. Even if a portrait shows her reading, which is common, it may be something more substantial than a novel, as here. Regladyread2 What she’s more likely to be is a freelance social worker and in training to be a high-level household manager and hostess. Beiing a free-lance social worker has a bad rap these days, especially if one is rich and aiding the very poor, but in the past very, very few people were employed to look after the less fortunate in society. It was all volunteer work. If Lady Lala is busily setting up her business, or even writing novels, who’s making sure the orphans get cared for?

So, what do you think about this? Do you prefer your historical heroine to have a job? Does preparing to be the wife of a powerful man and mother of his children not cut it anymore? What about that “Duke of Lust?” Do you want him to be obviously paying attention to his vast land holdings, his many dependents and responsibilities, his high position of power in the land? Or would that spoil the fun for you?

You can see where I am on this, but there are no right answers. This is fiction. Often this is fantasy. It’s certainly supposed to be entertainment. What’s your cup of tea?Lbfrontsm_1

(Got to mention that Thea in Lady Beware has no job, no hint of one. But she’s always been in training to be like her mother, the Duchess of Yeovil, the indefatigable manager of a vast range of efficient, focussed, benevolence. My sort of gal. Both of them.)

Jo

40 thoughts on “Working gal”

  1. From Sherrie:
    Jo, whether or not a hero or heroine has a particular “job” is less important to me than what their passion is. A hero might be an earl with vast estates that he manages in a masterly way, but that is expected of him and therefore doesn’t make him especially notable. However, if his passion is breeding and refining a class of, say, racing turkeys, that adds an interesting aspect to his makeup. That said, though, I certainly have no problem with a character staying within the confines of their particular class.
    I enjoy stories about heroines who are governesses or companions, and it’s not necessary that the hero or heroine rise above their specific station in life, but I do perk up when they have an interesting hobby or passion.
    I remember one hero who was such an avid vegetable gardener that he came close to sleeping in his garden to keep the rabbits and other marauders from his veggies. I liked that about him. In my current WIP, my heroine is a companion to an old dragon of a lady (Ha! Got in a dragon reference!) and her passion is butterflies and designing flower gardens.

    Reply
  2. From Sherrie:
    Jo, whether or not a hero or heroine has a particular “job” is less important to me than what their passion is. A hero might be an earl with vast estates that he manages in a masterly way, but that is expected of him and therefore doesn’t make him especially notable. However, if his passion is breeding and refining a class of, say, racing turkeys, that adds an interesting aspect to his makeup. That said, though, I certainly have no problem with a character staying within the confines of their particular class.
    I enjoy stories about heroines who are governesses or companions, and it’s not necessary that the hero or heroine rise above their specific station in life, but I do perk up when they have an interesting hobby or passion.
    I remember one hero who was such an avid vegetable gardener that he came close to sleeping in his garden to keep the rabbits and other marauders from his veggies. I liked that about him. In my current WIP, my heroine is a companion to an old dragon of a lady (Ha! Got in a dragon reference!) and her passion is butterflies and designing flower gardens.

    Reply
  3. From Sherrie:
    Jo, whether or not a hero or heroine has a particular “job” is less important to me than what their passion is. A hero might be an earl with vast estates that he manages in a masterly way, but that is expected of him and therefore doesn’t make him especially notable. However, if his passion is breeding and refining a class of, say, racing turkeys, that adds an interesting aspect to his makeup. That said, though, I certainly have no problem with a character staying within the confines of their particular class.
    I enjoy stories about heroines who are governesses or companions, and it’s not necessary that the hero or heroine rise above their specific station in life, but I do perk up when they have an interesting hobby or passion.
    I remember one hero who was such an avid vegetable gardener that he came close to sleeping in his garden to keep the rabbits and other marauders from his veggies. I liked that about him. In my current WIP, my heroine is a companion to an old dragon of a lady (Ha! Got in a dragon reference!) and her passion is butterflies and designing flower gardens.

    Reply
  4. From Sherrie:
    Jo, whether or not a hero or heroine has a particular “job” is less important to me than what their passion is. A hero might be an earl with vast estates that he manages in a masterly way, but that is expected of him and therefore doesn’t make him especially notable. However, if his passion is breeding and refining a class of, say, racing turkeys, that adds an interesting aspect to his makeup. That said, though, I certainly have no problem with a character staying within the confines of their particular class.
    I enjoy stories about heroines who are governesses or companions, and it’s not necessary that the hero or heroine rise above their specific station in life, but I do perk up when they have an interesting hobby or passion.
    I remember one hero who was such an avid vegetable gardener that he came close to sleeping in his garden to keep the rabbits and other marauders from his veggies. I liked that about him. In my current WIP, my heroine is a companion to an old dragon of a lady (Ha! Got in a dragon reference!) and her passion is butterflies and designing flower gardens.

    Reply
  5. I’m sure at this point no one will be surprised to hear that I’d love to see more younger sons and heroes of outright common birth, and it’s perfectly appropriate and realistic for *them* to be working men! 🙂
    And yeah, when the hero has a title, I do like to see him with the realistic responsibilities you describe. Also, I like heroines with period-appropriate goals and dreams–she doesn’t have to have anachronistic ambitions to be strong, intelligent, and resourceful!
    And like Sherrie, I like characters with interesting passions, whether they’re directly related to the character’s rank or profession or simply hobbies they love.

    Reply
  6. I’m sure at this point no one will be surprised to hear that I’d love to see more younger sons and heroes of outright common birth, and it’s perfectly appropriate and realistic for *them* to be working men! 🙂
    And yeah, when the hero has a title, I do like to see him with the realistic responsibilities you describe. Also, I like heroines with period-appropriate goals and dreams–she doesn’t have to have anachronistic ambitions to be strong, intelligent, and resourceful!
    And like Sherrie, I like characters with interesting passions, whether they’re directly related to the character’s rank or profession or simply hobbies they love.

    Reply
  7. I’m sure at this point no one will be surprised to hear that I’d love to see more younger sons and heroes of outright common birth, and it’s perfectly appropriate and realistic for *them* to be working men! 🙂
    And yeah, when the hero has a title, I do like to see him with the realistic responsibilities you describe. Also, I like heroines with period-appropriate goals and dreams–she doesn’t have to have anachronistic ambitions to be strong, intelligent, and resourceful!
    And like Sherrie, I like characters with interesting passions, whether they’re directly related to the character’s rank or profession or simply hobbies they love.

    Reply
  8. I’m sure at this point no one will be surprised to hear that I’d love to see more younger sons and heroes of outright common birth, and it’s perfectly appropriate and realistic for *them* to be working men! 🙂
    And yeah, when the hero has a title, I do like to see him with the realistic responsibilities you describe. Also, I like heroines with period-appropriate goals and dreams–she doesn’t have to have anachronistic ambitions to be strong, intelligent, and resourceful!
    And like Sherrie, I like characters with interesting passions, whether they’re directly related to the character’s rank or profession or simply hobbies they love.

    Reply
  9. I appreciate when characters have employment suitable to their station. I don’t feel that an author should have to project a modern working life onto a historical person. Idle rich is fine!
    That said, I don’t think occupations are objectionable. When Madeleine Hunter wrote an opera career for one of her pre-1850 heroines, and then married her to a viscount, it did seem wildly improbable, but it didn’t ruin my suspension of disbelief. And the heroine’s passion for singing, which I share, was one of the pleasures of the book.
    Speaking of the limits on the varieties of characters, I wish novels contained a more realistic ratio of Peers Of The Realm to peers of Mr. Darcy. How many dukes can there be? But I suppose it’s not fair to tell Author A that Authors B and C used up all the marriageable dukes. (grin)

    Reply
  10. I appreciate when characters have employment suitable to their station. I don’t feel that an author should have to project a modern working life onto a historical person. Idle rich is fine!
    That said, I don’t think occupations are objectionable. When Madeleine Hunter wrote an opera career for one of her pre-1850 heroines, and then married her to a viscount, it did seem wildly improbable, but it didn’t ruin my suspension of disbelief. And the heroine’s passion for singing, which I share, was one of the pleasures of the book.
    Speaking of the limits on the varieties of characters, I wish novels contained a more realistic ratio of Peers Of The Realm to peers of Mr. Darcy. How many dukes can there be? But I suppose it’s not fair to tell Author A that Authors B and C used up all the marriageable dukes. (grin)

    Reply
  11. I appreciate when characters have employment suitable to their station. I don’t feel that an author should have to project a modern working life onto a historical person. Idle rich is fine!
    That said, I don’t think occupations are objectionable. When Madeleine Hunter wrote an opera career for one of her pre-1850 heroines, and then married her to a viscount, it did seem wildly improbable, but it didn’t ruin my suspension of disbelief. And the heroine’s passion for singing, which I share, was one of the pleasures of the book.
    Speaking of the limits on the varieties of characters, I wish novels contained a more realistic ratio of Peers Of The Realm to peers of Mr. Darcy. How many dukes can there be? But I suppose it’s not fair to tell Author A that Authors B and C used up all the marriageable dukes. (grin)

    Reply
  12. I appreciate when characters have employment suitable to their station. I don’t feel that an author should have to project a modern working life onto a historical person. Idle rich is fine!
    That said, I don’t think occupations are objectionable. When Madeleine Hunter wrote an opera career for one of her pre-1850 heroines, and then married her to a viscount, it did seem wildly improbable, but it didn’t ruin my suspension of disbelief. And the heroine’s passion for singing, which I share, was one of the pleasures of the book.
    Speaking of the limits on the varieties of characters, I wish novels contained a more realistic ratio of Peers Of The Realm to peers of Mr. Darcy. How many dukes can there be? But I suppose it’s not fair to tell Author A that Authors B and C used up all the marriageable dukes. (grin)

    Reply
  13. Jo, I agree that characters need to be busy in ways that suit the times. My lords often have duties in Parliament or estate management lurking around the corners of their lives. (Sometimes, such things even show up in the stories.)
    My heroines have had more checkered backgrounds. Some are of the middling sort, with no inherited money to fall back on. A Methodist schoolteacher in Wales makes sense. A heroine who is a Persian warlord is a bit more of a stretch :), but let us not forget Lady Hester Stanhope.
    Doing a 2ist century sort of job just because that suits modern sensibility usually doesn’t work for me.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  14. Jo, I agree that characters need to be busy in ways that suit the times. My lords often have duties in Parliament or estate management lurking around the corners of their lives. (Sometimes, such things even show up in the stories.)
    My heroines have had more checkered backgrounds. Some are of the middling sort, with no inherited money to fall back on. A Methodist schoolteacher in Wales makes sense. A heroine who is a Persian warlord is a bit more of a stretch :), but let us not forget Lady Hester Stanhope.
    Doing a 2ist century sort of job just because that suits modern sensibility usually doesn’t work for me.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  15. Jo, I agree that characters need to be busy in ways that suit the times. My lords often have duties in Parliament or estate management lurking around the corners of their lives. (Sometimes, such things even show up in the stories.)
    My heroines have had more checkered backgrounds. Some are of the middling sort, with no inherited money to fall back on. A Methodist schoolteacher in Wales makes sense. A heroine who is a Persian warlord is a bit more of a stretch :), but let us not forget Lady Hester Stanhope.
    Doing a 2ist century sort of job just because that suits modern sensibility usually doesn’t work for me.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  16. Jo, I agree that characters need to be busy in ways that suit the times. My lords often have duties in Parliament or estate management lurking around the corners of their lives. (Sometimes, such things even show up in the stories.)
    My heroines have had more checkered backgrounds. Some are of the middling sort, with no inherited money to fall back on. A Methodist schoolteacher in Wales makes sense. A heroine who is a Persian warlord is a bit more of a stretch :), but let us not forget Lady Hester Stanhope.
    Doing a 2ist century sort of job just because that suits modern sensibility usually doesn’t work for me.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  17. Sorry to be away so much today. It was my chapter’s meeting. Also, I’ll be away next Saturday at a conference. I’ll leave something to be posted, but won’t be here to comment.
    I think in many ways an over-the-top job is better than an anachronistic one for me. The Persian Warlord works. The more mundane, but unlikely for the times, tends to jar me.
    Mostly it’s that I like historical fiction that’s close to the way things really were,and there have always been extremes and eccentrics. As things were, but with a certain amount of gloss.:)
    BTW, I should perhaps have said that my husband is retired. Sounds better than unemployed, but I was working with the self-employed and free-lance system.
    Interesting the nuances and weight that words can have. That’s the essence of our trade, isn’t it?
    Jo

    Reply
  18. Sorry to be away so much today. It was my chapter’s meeting. Also, I’ll be away next Saturday at a conference. I’ll leave something to be posted, but won’t be here to comment.
    I think in many ways an over-the-top job is better than an anachronistic one for me. The Persian Warlord works. The more mundane, but unlikely for the times, tends to jar me.
    Mostly it’s that I like historical fiction that’s close to the way things really were,and there have always been extremes and eccentrics. As things were, but with a certain amount of gloss.:)
    BTW, I should perhaps have said that my husband is retired. Sounds better than unemployed, but I was working with the self-employed and free-lance system.
    Interesting the nuances and weight that words can have. That’s the essence of our trade, isn’t it?
    Jo

    Reply
  19. Sorry to be away so much today. It was my chapter’s meeting. Also, I’ll be away next Saturday at a conference. I’ll leave something to be posted, but won’t be here to comment.
    I think in many ways an over-the-top job is better than an anachronistic one for me. The Persian Warlord works. The more mundane, but unlikely for the times, tends to jar me.
    Mostly it’s that I like historical fiction that’s close to the way things really were,and there have always been extremes and eccentrics. As things were, but with a certain amount of gloss.:)
    BTW, I should perhaps have said that my husband is retired. Sounds better than unemployed, but I was working with the self-employed and free-lance system.
    Interesting the nuances and weight that words can have. That’s the essence of our trade, isn’t it?
    Jo

    Reply
  20. Sorry to be away so much today. It was my chapter’s meeting. Also, I’ll be away next Saturday at a conference. I’ll leave something to be posted, but won’t be here to comment.
    I think in many ways an over-the-top job is better than an anachronistic one for me. The Persian Warlord works. The more mundane, but unlikely for the times, tends to jar me.
    Mostly it’s that I like historical fiction that’s close to the way things really were,and there have always been extremes and eccentrics. As things were, but with a certain amount of gloss.:)
    BTW, I should perhaps have said that my husband is retired. Sounds better than unemployed, but I was working with the self-employed and free-lance system.
    Interesting the nuances and weight that words can have. That’s the essence of our trade, isn’t it?
    Jo

    Reply
  21. Interesting question, Jo. Maybe it’s a reaction to reading about all those aristocrats losing appalling amounts of money at the gaming tables or betting on horse races and boxing matches. Maybe it’s all the heavy drinking they did and all the adultery. Though it’s not true of all the aristocracy, I find myself thinking these people had way too much money and way too much time on their hands–and they’re sort of pitiful, when you come right down to it. So yes, I like the heroes and heroines to have an occupation. What they do gives one an idea of who they are. But the occupation needs to make some historical sense–though that allows plenty of leeway, because one always find historical figures who broke the rules or Did Something Different.

    Reply
  22. Interesting question, Jo. Maybe it’s a reaction to reading about all those aristocrats losing appalling amounts of money at the gaming tables or betting on horse races and boxing matches. Maybe it’s all the heavy drinking they did and all the adultery. Though it’s not true of all the aristocracy, I find myself thinking these people had way too much money and way too much time on their hands–and they’re sort of pitiful, when you come right down to it. So yes, I like the heroes and heroines to have an occupation. What they do gives one an idea of who they are. But the occupation needs to make some historical sense–though that allows plenty of leeway, because one always find historical figures who broke the rules or Did Something Different.

    Reply
  23. Interesting question, Jo. Maybe it’s a reaction to reading about all those aristocrats losing appalling amounts of money at the gaming tables or betting on horse races and boxing matches. Maybe it’s all the heavy drinking they did and all the adultery. Though it’s not true of all the aristocracy, I find myself thinking these people had way too much money and way too much time on their hands–and they’re sort of pitiful, when you come right down to it. So yes, I like the heroes and heroines to have an occupation. What they do gives one an idea of who they are. But the occupation needs to make some historical sense–though that allows plenty of leeway, because one always find historical figures who broke the rules or Did Something Different.

    Reply
  24. Interesting question, Jo. Maybe it’s a reaction to reading about all those aristocrats losing appalling amounts of money at the gaming tables or betting on horse races and boxing matches. Maybe it’s all the heavy drinking they did and all the adultery. Though it’s not true of all the aristocracy, I find myself thinking these people had way too much money and way too much time on their hands–and they’re sort of pitiful, when you come right down to it. So yes, I like the heroes and heroines to have an occupation. What they do gives one an idea of who they are. But the occupation needs to make some historical sense–though that allows plenty of leeway, because one always find historical figures who broke the rules or Did Something Different.

    Reply
  25. I guess it’s an occupational hazard for me as a minister but I do like to see the Duke of Lust and Lady Lala involved in charitable works, or as Jo put it so beautifully, “indefatigable managers of a vast range of efficient, focussed, benevolence.” Though dissipation, gambling, and seduction does make for exciting reading!
    A profession is good, too, like sea-captaining (love those weathered visages) or governessing, but it is nice when it is period-appropriate and not a 21st century sensibility laid on over 18th or 19th century characters.
    (Weren’t there more than enough social problems at that time to go around for all the Thousands of Mythical Dukes and Duchesses to work on after they sort out their HEAs?)
    BTW, I think Rothgar is especially well done as a nobleman who visibly and professionally exercises the responsibilities of his title and position and is kept very busy with them indeed.
    About “unusual” or “eccentric” people with out-of-the-ordinary interests or enthusiasms–those who, as Loretta said, “Did Something Different”–do you think that these folks would have been more tolerated in the rural environment as opposed to the London Social Whirl? As a country-raised girl, I saw lots of eccentric behavior that I really don’t think would have been socially tolerated in a more urban setting. (Or is it just that Southerners have More Personality than everyone else, LOL?).

    Reply
  26. I guess it’s an occupational hazard for me as a minister but I do like to see the Duke of Lust and Lady Lala involved in charitable works, or as Jo put it so beautifully, “indefatigable managers of a vast range of efficient, focussed, benevolence.” Though dissipation, gambling, and seduction does make for exciting reading!
    A profession is good, too, like sea-captaining (love those weathered visages) or governessing, but it is nice when it is period-appropriate and not a 21st century sensibility laid on over 18th or 19th century characters.
    (Weren’t there more than enough social problems at that time to go around for all the Thousands of Mythical Dukes and Duchesses to work on after they sort out their HEAs?)
    BTW, I think Rothgar is especially well done as a nobleman who visibly and professionally exercises the responsibilities of his title and position and is kept very busy with them indeed.
    About “unusual” or “eccentric” people with out-of-the-ordinary interests or enthusiasms–those who, as Loretta said, “Did Something Different”–do you think that these folks would have been more tolerated in the rural environment as opposed to the London Social Whirl? As a country-raised girl, I saw lots of eccentric behavior that I really don’t think would have been socially tolerated in a more urban setting. (Or is it just that Southerners have More Personality than everyone else, LOL?).

    Reply
  27. I guess it’s an occupational hazard for me as a minister but I do like to see the Duke of Lust and Lady Lala involved in charitable works, or as Jo put it so beautifully, “indefatigable managers of a vast range of efficient, focussed, benevolence.” Though dissipation, gambling, and seduction does make for exciting reading!
    A profession is good, too, like sea-captaining (love those weathered visages) or governessing, but it is nice when it is period-appropriate and not a 21st century sensibility laid on over 18th or 19th century characters.
    (Weren’t there more than enough social problems at that time to go around for all the Thousands of Mythical Dukes and Duchesses to work on after they sort out their HEAs?)
    BTW, I think Rothgar is especially well done as a nobleman who visibly and professionally exercises the responsibilities of his title and position and is kept very busy with them indeed.
    About “unusual” or “eccentric” people with out-of-the-ordinary interests or enthusiasms–those who, as Loretta said, “Did Something Different”–do you think that these folks would have been more tolerated in the rural environment as opposed to the London Social Whirl? As a country-raised girl, I saw lots of eccentric behavior that I really don’t think would have been socially tolerated in a more urban setting. (Or is it just that Southerners have More Personality than everyone else, LOL?).

    Reply
  28. I guess it’s an occupational hazard for me as a minister but I do like to see the Duke of Lust and Lady Lala involved in charitable works, or as Jo put it so beautifully, “indefatigable managers of a vast range of efficient, focussed, benevolence.” Though dissipation, gambling, and seduction does make for exciting reading!
    A profession is good, too, like sea-captaining (love those weathered visages) or governessing, but it is nice when it is period-appropriate and not a 21st century sensibility laid on over 18th or 19th century characters.
    (Weren’t there more than enough social problems at that time to go around for all the Thousands of Mythical Dukes and Duchesses to work on after they sort out their HEAs?)
    BTW, I think Rothgar is especially well done as a nobleman who visibly and professionally exercises the responsibilities of his title and position and is kept very busy with them indeed.
    About “unusual” or “eccentric” people with out-of-the-ordinary interests or enthusiasms–those who, as Loretta said, “Did Something Different”–do you think that these folks would have been more tolerated in the rural environment as opposed to the London Social Whirl? As a country-raised girl, I saw lots of eccentric behavior that I really don’t think would have been socially tolerated in a more urban setting. (Or is it just that Southerners have More Personality than everyone else, LOL?).

    Reply
  29. PS, Congratulations Jo and Loretta for your well-deserved recognition in the AAR annual poll! I assume that this is “All About Romance”? In my business the “AAR” is the American Academy of Religion, LOL!

    Reply
  30. PS, Congratulations Jo and Loretta for your well-deserved recognition in the AAR annual poll! I assume that this is “All About Romance”? In my business the “AAR” is the American Academy of Religion, LOL!

    Reply
  31. PS, Congratulations Jo and Loretta for your well-deserved recognition in the AAR annual poll! I assume that this is “All About Romance”? In my business the “AAR” is the American Academy of Religion, LOL!

    Reply
  32. PS, Congratulations Jo and Loretta for your well-deserved recognition in the AAR annual poll! I assume that this is “All About Romance”? In my business the “AAR” is the American Academy of Religion, LOL!

    Reply
  33. Jo here.
    Melinda, I think eccentricity is tolerated, even celebrated at all levels in England! Certainly there was plenty of it in upper class society. All the things Heyer made cliches like Poodle Byng, Petersham with his snuff boxes, and Sir George Lade (do I have the first name right?) spending his time as a coachman. There’s an occupation.*G*
    Loretta, the interesting thing about the dissipated aristocracy was that some of them were high-functioning dissipates. If that’s a word. They drank and gamed but also were ministers, gave eloquent speeches, and even were responsible landowners etc.
    Not all of them, of course,and being addicted to gambling tends not to be a good thing for family or estates, but drink and sex?
    Also, there were sober, virtuous people who frittered away time or even caused appalling misery by mis-management and/or by wrong-headed attempts to do good.
    So I’m not sure virtue and efficiency correlate much in these situation, and I think it’s an idea that hardly existed before the late 18th century. Anyone have an opinion on that?
    But it’s a very interesting subject!
    Jo

    Reply
  34. Jo here.
    Melinda, I think eccentricity is tolerated, even celebrated at all levels in England! Certainly there was plenty of it in upper class society. All the things Heyer made cliches like Poodle Byng, Petersham with his snuff boxes, and Sir George Lade (do I have the first name right?) spending his time as a coachman. There’s an occupation.*G*
    Loretta, the interesting thing about the dissipated aristocracy was that some of them were high-functioning dissipates. If that’s a word. They drank and gamed but also were ministers, gave eloquent speeches, and even were responsible landowners etc.
    Not all of them, of course,and being addicted to gambling tends not to be a good thing for family or estates, but drink and sex?
    Also, there were sober, virtuous people who frittered away time or even caused appalling misery by mis-management and/or by wrong-headed attempts to do good.
    So I’m not sure virtue and efficiency correlate much in these situation, and I think it’s an idea that hardly existed before the late 18th century. Anyone have an opinion on that?
    But it’s a very interesting subject!
    Jo

    Reply
  35. Jo here.
    Melinda, I think eccentricity is tolerated, even celebrated at all levels in England! Certainly there was plenty of it in upper class society. All the things Heyer made cliches like Poodle Byng, Petersham with his snuff boxes, and Sir George Lade (do I have the first name right?) spending his time as a coachman. There’s an occupation.*G*
    Loretta, the interesting thing about the dissipated aristocracy was that some of them were high-functioning dissipates. If that’s a word. They drank and gamed but also were ministers, gave eloquent speeches, and even were responsible landowners etc.
    Not all of them, of course,and being addicted to gambling tends not to be a good thing for family or estates, but drink and sex?
    Also, there were sober, virtuous people who frittered away time or even caused appalling misery by mis-management and/or by wrong-headed attempts to do good.
    So I’m not sure virtue and efficiency correlate much in these situation, and I think it’s an idea that hardly existed before the late 18th century. Anyone have an opinion on that?
    But it’s a very interesting subject!
    Jo

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  36. Jo here.
    Melinda, I think eccentricity is tolerated, even celebrated at all levels in England! Certainly there was plenty of it in upper class society. All the things Heyer made cliches like Poodle Byng, Petersham with his snuff boxes, and Sir George Lade (do I have the first name right?) spending his time as a coachman. There’s an occupation.*G*
    Loretta, the interesting thing about the dissipated aristocracy was that some of them were high-functioning dissipates. If that’s a word. They drank and gamed but also were ministers, gave eloquent speeches, and even were responsible landowners etc.
    Not all of them, of course,and being addicted to gambling tends not to be a good thing for family or estates, but drink and sex?
    Also, there were sober, virtuous people who frittered away time or even caused appalling misery by mis-management and/or by wrong-headed attempts to do good.
    So I’m not sure virtue and efficiency correlate much in these situation, and I think it’s an idea that hardly existed before the late 18th century. Anyone have an opinion on that?
    But it’s a very interesting subject!
    Jo

    Reply
  37. I can’t chose between the idle rich and the futuristically employed ladies. But overall escapism wins, so any light and easy work will do!

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  38. I can’t chose between the idle rich and the futuristically employed ladies. But overall escapism wins, so any light and easy work will do!

    Reply
  39. I can’t chose between the idle rich and the futuristically employed ladies. But overall escapism wins, so any light and easy work will do!

    Reply
  40. I can’t chose between the idle rich and the futuristically employed ladies. But overall escapism wins, so any light and easy work will do!

    Reply

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