What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist-the Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England
Simon and Schuster
, Apr 21, 1994
- 416 pages
A “delightful reader’s companion” (The New York Times) to the great nineteenth-century British novels of Austen, Dickens, Trollope, the Brontės, and more, this lively guide clarifies the sometimes bizarre maze of rules and customs that governed life in Victorian England.
For anyone 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,” this book serves as an indispensable historical and literary resource. Author Daniel Pool provides countless intriguing details (did you know that the “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.
An illuminating glossary gives at a glance the meaning and significance of terms ranging from “ague” to “wainscoting,” the specifics of the currency system, and a lively host of other details and curiosities of the day.