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What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew : From Fox Hunting to Whist-the Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England - Daniel Pool

What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew

From Fox Hunting to Whist-the Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England

eBook Published: 2nd October 2012
ISBN: 9781439144800
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A “delightful reader’s companion” (The New York Times) to the great nineteenth-century British novels of Austen, Dickens, Trollope, the Brontës, 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.

Industry Reviews

M.G. Lord New York Newsday A delightful book...indispensable to lovers of Victorian literature.



Part One

The Basics


The Calendar

Hogsheads and Drams: English Measurement



The Public World

Precedence: Of Bishops, Barristers, and Baronets

The Titled

How to Address Your Betters

Esq., Gent., K.C.B., etc.

Status: Gentlemen and Lesser Folk


Society and "The Season"

Basic Etiquette

How to Address the Nontitled

"May I Have This Dance?"

The Rules of Whist and Other Card Games

Calling Cards and Calls

The Major Rituals

Presentation at Court

The Dinner Party

The Ball

The Country House Visit


Being Wealthy

Entail and Protecting the Estate

Bankruptcy, Debt, and Moneylending

Power and the Establishment

The Government

Britannia Rules the Waves

The Army

The Church of England

Oxford and Cambridge


"The Law Is a Ass"


Crime and Punishment


The Horse

Please, James, the Coach

The Railroad

The Mail

The Country

Life on the Farm

The Midlands, Wessex, and Yorkshire

Who's Who in the Country

Shire and Shire Alike: Local Government in Britain

"The Theory and System of Fox Hunting"

Vermin, Poachers, and Keepers

Fairs and Markets

The Private World

"Reader, I Married Him"


An Englishman's Home

Houses with Names



How the English Kept Clean

"Please, Sir, I Want Some More."



Drink and the Evils Thereof

Women's Clothing

Men's Clothing


The Governess

A Taxonomy of Maids

Victorian Recycling

The Grim World

The Orphan



The Workhouse



Death and Other Grave Matters

Part Two




ISBN: 9781439144800
ISBN-10: 143914480X
Audience: General
Format: ePUB
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: 2nd October 2012
Publisher: Touchstone

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