Daily Life 2

Phoebe Love9489
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Phoebe Love9489
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Coaches and carriages
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Daily Life 2
1 Coaches and Carriages
1.1 How Austen's characters travelled
1.1.1 London carriage-builder of her time = William Felton
1.1.1.1 Wrote "A Treatise on Carriages"
1.2 CARRIAGE: general name for nearly every horse-drawn passenger vehicle; Austen mainly called them carriages, and the specific names with less frequency; such a careful writer would have had reasons for this
1.2.1 A CHARIOT, a CHAISE, or GIG = kind of carriage
1.2.2 Built to meet the exact wishes of the buyer, therefore there could be considerable difference in design from carriage to carriage of techically the same type
1.2.3 Names applied loosely: (Persuasion) Narrator calls their vehicle a gig (when Crofts offer Anne a ride on her walk), and then in the same paragraph called a it a one-horse chaise
2 Walking/Roads
2.1 For those with very little money (a large fraction of society) walking was the only method of travel, but util the 18th century, roads were so bad that walking was usually the fastest means of travel
2.2 Austen, and many of her characters seemed to travel fairly easily and rapidly; the quality of English roads ranged quite widely in her time (poor to quite good/smooth)
3 CHEAPEST (a fourth of the stagecoach price) vehicle = the THELONG WAGON; it carried passengers as well as goods; moved slower that walking (slow, clumsy and primitive); quite uncomfortable; not mentioned in Austen's work
3.1 Transport of goods by road was expensive (1 miles = 100 miles on water); this is why the Dashwood furniture "was all sent round by water" from Norland to Barton
4 STAGECOACHES
4.1 Many English people, even the gentry on occasion, used these (not necessarily comfortable); people kept horses stabled underground at coaching inns (land = expensive in London); Mr and Mrs Gardiner may have used horses from such an inn for the 1st stage of their northern journey; many other characters used stagecoaches, as many of Austen's brothers used them, and she used them in her later life
4.1.1 1784: Royal Mail Stagecoaches made a revolutionary improvement in English mail service (much safer, quicker, etc); set standards of speed/safety by which all other travel was judged (could outrun pursuers and guard and driver with pistols could protect them from highwaymen)
4.1.2 In Austen's time, the Mail coaches set off from central London promptly at 8pm (journeys at night were not always comfortable) every day to 320 destinations; they operated in all weathers, guards overcoming terrible obstacles such as wind, snow, and sub-zero temps (horses/guards/carriages sometimes did not survive)
4.1.2.1 "Many felt coach-fevered, crazed and stunned" - Mail Service was therefore caricatured
4.1.3 Mail coacheslost passengers (7max per coach) in 1830's (absence of highwaymen); started to disappear when railroads covered land in the early 20th century
4.1.3.1 Austen only mentions highway robbers once (that is to say they did not trouble Catherine Morland on her journey to Bath) (avoided them bc she had satirisied melodrama in her young stories
4.1.3.1.1 HIGHWAYMEN
4.1.3.1.1.1 a major concern in earlier times, but declined through the 2nd half of the 18th century
5 HORSEBACK
5.1 Considered in most respects a step up from the stagecoach or trips of moderate length
5.1.1 For those with less money, it was possible to rent a horse, eg. Edward Ferrars (S+S) - he probably used stagecoach for majority of his journey; horses could manage max of "twenty miles"
5.1.1.1 Austen tries to disassociate her towns from real towns, eg. Highbury, by showing geographic impossibilty
5.1.1.1.1 Women rode for pleasure and exercise, but not all liked it, eg. Jane Bennet
6 THE CHAISE
6.1 Four-wheeled closed carriage (travelling), eg. Susan Price sat on the fold-out seat, facing forard with her smiles hidden by her bonnet (all seats faced forward)
6.2 The plain post-chaise = one of the most frequently seen vehicles on English roads in her time
6.3 Used a suspension system common in Austen's time to increase passenger comfort on the poor English roads
6.3.1 Oddity: no seat for the driver, instead controlled by a post-boy, or postilion, who roade on the near of left horse
6.3.1.1 William Felton called the use of this absurd (over-burdened the horse and ruing many good horses)
6.3.2 owned/used by major characters by major characters in every novel
7 CURRICLE
7.1 kind of early sports car (small lightweight carriage drawn by two horses for speed); sometimes had only two wheels; Willoughby used one for driving Marianne Dashwood around Barton
7.1.1 users = young men (Mr Darcy, Mr William Elliot, Charles Musgrove, Tom Musgrove, Mr Rushworth, Henry Tilney and Willoughby
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