What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist-The Facts of Daily Life Innineteenth-Century England
For every frustrated reader of the great nineteenth-century English novels of Austen, Trollope, Dickens, or the Brontės, who has ever wondered whether a duke outranked an earl, when to yell "Tally-ho!" at a fox hunt, or how one landed in debtor's prison, here is a "delightful reader's companion that lights up the literary dark" (The New York Times). This guide clarifies the sometimes bizarre maze of rules, regulations, and customs that governed everyday life in Victorian England. Author Daniel Pool provides countless intriguing details (did you know that "plums" in Christmas plum pudding were actually raisins?) on the Church of England, sex, Parliament, dinner parties, country house visiting, and a host of other aspects of nineteenth-century English life--both "upstairs" and "downstairs". A glossary reveals the meaning and significance of terms ranging from "ague" to "wainscoting," the specifics of the currency system, and countless other curiosities of the day.