The following (super fun) quiz was created by Beth (you know, the one who makes literary-themed makeup), who is asking us to discover what type of Regency heroine we would be. Turns out, I'm "Spirited" . . . (Who would have thought? ;P )
Take the quiz and then let me know in the comments what type of heroine YOU are. And for you Austen noobs, there's a cheat sheet after the quiz that explains some of the choices, in case you get stuck. Hope you at least brought your number two pencils, though . . .
Find out by answering the fun little quiz below!
Want to know why you got the answer you did?
In terms of rooms in your house:
+ The Sitting Room and Morning Room where both were family members could comfortably lounge.
+ The Dining Room and Drawing Room were both used for formal entertaining in the evening or afternoon, respectively.
+ The Servant's Hall was where servants ate and congregated; it was strictly off-limits to the family. Hanging out here would be a questionable, risky thing to do.
+ A Chamber was always a private room, generally a bedroom. Spending a lot of time here during the day was cause for gossip and concern for your general fitness.
As far as places to be seen:
+ Almack's was an assembly room for large-scale social gatherings. It was THE place for high society to be seen. Membership cost 10 guineas, was difficult to obtain, and got you 12 weeks of balls and dinners.
+ Regent Street was famously the place for men to meet unmarried ladies of a freer sexuality than those in the classier neighborhoods, after dinner or the theatre.
+ The Ladies' Mile was a riding area in Hyde Park designated for women especially, and usually enjoyed in the morning.
+ Rotten Row was a riding area for the very fashionable, who only went there midday or weekend evenings. It was not confined to one gender, but considered sporty, forward, and potentially very exciting.
With regard to carriages:
+ A Curricle was a two-wheeled carriage fashionable in the early 1800's, pulled by two horses and considered sporty and popular by the younger crowd.
+ A Gig was a one-horse carriage with only two wheels and space for two passengers. It was considered a modest, all-purpose country cart: inexpensive and driven by one of the two passengers.
+ A Landau was a four-wheeled carriage with a hood at either end or with a roof that opened in the center (akin to a modern moon roof) and two seats facing each other. A Barouche was a four-wheeled carriage with fold-up hood at the back and two inside seats, facing each other. Both were considered very fancy and refined.
+ A Phaeton was a lightweight, four-wheeled carriage with open sides. Drawn by one or two horses, it was sometimes driven by its owner rather than a coachman. Very practical and modest.
In entertaining others:
+ A Rubber was the term for a set of three or more games of a card game, such as whist. The idea was to win the best two of three, or three of five games. An excellent way to keep a fun card game going without looking too eager to maintain current company! I bet you thought it was something dirty…
+ Livery was the distinctive uniform worn by male servants of a particular master, including knee breeches, powdered wigs and a waistcoat. The wealthier the house, in general, the finer the livery. If your intended has an appreciation for the finer things in life, he’ll likely note the quality of the livery worn by your staff.
+ Gaming was the term for gambling. Considering how miserable life was for anyone in debt (especially the lower classes), gaming was a risky thing. And yet, ironically, considered something a gentleman would do.
+ Clubs were a refuge for middle and upper class men in London. The more exclusive ones were on Pall Mall and St. James' Street. They included the Carlton Club, Boodles, Whites, and Brooke's. Any gentleman worth his salt would belong to one, as a social opportunity. Of course, ladies were not to have interest in these things.
In the manner of parlor amusements:
+ Commerce was akin to poker, popular in the 1700s and 1800s and largely a gambling game. Players swap cards turned face-up in an effort to improve their hands.
+ Cribbage is a card game that entails a wooden board and pegs to keep score. It has survived into popularity today, and considered a respectable game.
+ Whist was one of the most popular card games of the day. It required 4 players, paired into teams with partners facing each other. The rules are extremely simple, which lead to its broad appeal and social aspect.
+ Shades was a common parlor game, whereby a person sat in profile, paper was hung on the wall and a candle placed on the other side of them, to cast a shadow. Then someone else drew the outline of the shadow to create a silhouette. Very respectable and considered appropriate for women of all ages.
As far as dancing goes:
+ The Minuet is a stately dance consisting of small steps to slow music, usually the first dance at an assembly or ball. Generally easy to do while maintaining polite conversation with one's partners, it was a refined dance.
+ The Quadrille is a square dance for four couples, lively and social. It gained immense popularity during this time and was a favorite among the young.
+ The Waltz was new-fashioned, incredibly intimate and socially isolating, as you maintained close contact with only one person for the entire song. Because of the intricacy of the movement, with a lot of swirling, it was not considered a conversation-encouraging dance. It was, in fact, quite risqué.
With regard to signs of affection:
+ Having her hand pressed fervently was considered the most ardent and sexual of gestures a woman could have before marriage, along with a hand around the waist. It would be unforgivably forward for a man to do this if he did not have intentions of marriage toward the woman.
+ Far from passionate by modern standards, a love letter was often sent post-engagement, as a display of earnest intent. Modern etiquette guides discouraged including anything in a love letter that might prove grounds for legal action- such a frank statement of love and the desire to be wed- in case you later broke off the engagement. In fact, jilted ex-fiances could and did sue for money using love letters as stated proof of the betrothed’s intentions.
+ The engagement was considered official through the exchanging of gifts. It would be considered rudely forward of a man to present a gift to a woman he was courting, if he had not secured encouragement from her family first.
+ In truth, the accepted method of engagement was for the man to ask the woman’s father for permission. This conversation included negotiations of settlement, including ‘pin money’ (an allowance for the to-be-wife to spend on personal trinkets of household affairs) and inheritance. Only after permission was obtained could the husband-to-be show affection through letters, gifts, or physical gesture. The wife-to-be was supposed to show no indication that she was being considered for marriage until after the engagement occurred. And even then, not to count on it or take it for granted.
When it comes to getting married:
+ Publishing the banns is the act whereby the impending marriage would be announced from the parish pulpit during service, three Sundays in a row. During this time, anyone could speak out against your marriage, thus canceling it. This was the least expensive route, but the riskiest as it relied on popular opinion and could be easily undone.
+ You could obtain a license for a few pounds, though. It could be had from the local clergyman and allowed you to marry in any parish in which either of you had lived for at least 15 days. It was considered the route those of good society took, and the best option for most folk.
+ Or, for the very wealthy, you could obtain a special license. Costing a huge sum of around 28 guineas, it was obtained from the archbishop of Canterbury and allowed you to marry anytime, anywhere, without challenge.
+ Of course, there was always Gretna Green, the small town just on the other side of the Scottish border. It was where elopers ran off to, to be married within the looser restrictions of the Scottish Presbyterian Church. Often done for those under the legal age to marry without parental consent, you simply showed up and pledged yourself in front of a witness.
In terms of locations:
+ For a fashionable address, you simply can’t beat Mayfair, in London near Hyde Park.
+ Ramsgate was a seaside resort, much more respected in the Regency than it is now.
+ Living abroad was considered risky and uncivilized.
+ Living in the country was an accepted practice- most of the ton has country estates and houses ‘in town’ that they resided in while Parliament was in session. Being a gentleman farmer, or a country resident in modest means, was perfectly acceptable.
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