Monday, March 23, 2009

Evening Conversation

How people spent their evenings in Jane Austen's time.
During the regency era, men and women spent the day separately, pursuing their own interests and schedules. It was perfectly permissable to spend a morning alone writing letters, reading to oneself, or riding, but after dinner families and friends were obligated to entertain each other with conversation, musical performances, parlor games and cards, or reading aloud. For most families, candles were considered a luxury, and, except for the richest families, most families could only afford to burn a few at a time. After dinner a family would assemble in one candlelit room to spend an evening together.


Matterhorn said...

Sounds very sociable; nice balance between time on your own and time spent with others.

Hans Lundahl said...

Le Barroux style telly:

One reads, others eat in silence and listen until:

"Tu autem Dñe, miserere nob/!"

Linda said...

Spending time in the candlelight with your family, working on various activities seems like a lovely aspect of the family life of the past. And of course, for many in the world, without electricity, it may very well still be a habit.