Monday, November 2, 2009
What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool
What is your Victorian literature IQ? Ready to take a little quiz just for fun? Here we go!
l. What do Ombre, Loo, Pope Joan, and Piquet have in common?
2. Where would you likely find an epergne in a Victorian home?
a. in the bedroom
b. in the dining room
c. in the study
3. Where would you live if you had the most fashionable address in Victorian London?
a. St. Giles
b. Covent Garden
4. If someone called you a tosspot, it meant
a. you are tart-tongued and sassy
b. you drank too much
c. you are the lowest housemaid
5. Most ladies' mourning clothes were made from what fabric?
6. True or False:
In going up a flight of stairs, the gentleman always precedes the lady.
7. True or False:
It is inappropriate for a lady to wear pearls or diamonds in the morning.
8. True or False:
A lady is always introduced to a gentleman -- never the other way around.
9. Can you name famous homes in literature that contains the following
words? grange, hall, house, park
l0. What is the proper way to address....
the king or queen?
the monarch's spouse, children, siblings?
nephews, nieces, and cousins of the sovereign?
So, how well did you do? Here are the answers:
1. They are all card games.
2. An epergne was a gaudy table decoration to hold food or flowers on a dining table.
3. Park Lane, the most coveted address, was in fashionable and wealthy Mayfair.
4. b - you drink too much
5. c - bombazine because it did not shine
8. False -- A genleman is always introduced to the lady; it is considered an honor to be introduced to the lady.
9. Thrushcross Grange in Wuthering Heights; Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre; Netherfield House in Pride and Prejudice; Mansfield Park
10. Your Majesty; Your Royal Highness; Your Highness
This is a fun, entertaining social history for anyone who enjoys reading the works of Dickens, the Brontes, Austen, and other nineteenth-century novelists, or for anyone who is interested in nineteenth-century English life.
I purchased this reference book as part of the Everything Austen challenge, and it really does enrich the reading experience of Victorian-era novels. It is very readable and filled with fun and interesting aspects of everyday matters such as dinner parties, country house visiting, sex and marriage, social etiquette, society and the "season," medicine and disease, death and mourning, transportation, the taxonomy of maids, currency, holidays, and of host of other curious topics. It contains a helpful glossary of terms and a useful bibliography for further exploration. Lots of fun!
Title: What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox-Hunting to Whist--the Facts of Daily Life in 19th Century England
Author: Daniel Pool
Simon and Schuster, Inc.