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Archive for the ‘Carriages’ Category

I find illustrations very inspiring and I thought you might like this one by the illustrator of Jane Austen’s books, Hugh Thomson.

Travelling in Regency England was just as hazardous as it is today. Apart from the possibilities of carriages overturning, if you were to travel for any distance you had to consider where you might stay on route. Not all coaching inns had the same level of comfort; bad food and uncomfortable beds, perhaps riddled with lice, were some of the hazards you might have to encounter.

Sharing a carriage could be equally troublesome for a lot of people, especially if they did not enjoy the close proximity of their fellow travellers. I love this poem by Swift.

Roused from sound sleep-thrice called-at length I rise,
Yawning, stretch out my arm, half close my eyes,
By steps and lanthorn enter the machine,
And take my place-how cordially-between
Two aged matrons of excessive bulk,
To mend the matter, too, of meaner folk;
While in like mood, jammed in on t’other side,
A bullying captain and a fair one ride,
Foolish as fair, and in whose lap a boy-
Our plague eternal, but her only joy.
At last, the glorious number is complete,
Steps in my landlord for that bodkin seat;
When soon, by every hillock, rut and stone,
Into each other’s face by turns we’re thrown.
This grandam scolds, that coughs, the captain swears,
The fair one screams and has a thousand fears,
While our plump landlord, trained in other lore,
Slumbers at ease nor yet ashamed to snore…
Sweet company! Next time, I do protest, sir,
I’d walk to Dublin ere I’d ride to Chester.

Jane Odiwe

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A couple of years ago, my sister treated me to a long weekend in Derbyshire. We don’t do it very often, but it’s always lovely to spend time together on our own. One of the fascinating places we visited was the Red House Stables Working Carriage Museum. It was in the middle of winter and as we were the only people there that afternoon, we were able to really explore the place and completely monopolise one of the lovely staff who told us all about the adventures they’d had working in lots of t.v. and film. I was especially interested to hear that some of the carriages had been used for the 1996 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. I loved the striped interior of the carriage below, which had been left in its original state. Can you just imagine being driven around whilst sitting on pink striped glazed chintz!

Jane Odiwe

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A couple of years ago, my sister treated me to a long weekend in Derbyshire. We don’t do it very often, but it’s always lovely to spend time together on our own. One of the fascinating places we visited was the Red House Stables Working Carriage Museum. It was in the middle of winter and as we were the only people there that afternoon, we were able to really explore the place and completely monopolise one of the lovely staff who told us all about the adventures they’d had working in lots of t.v. and film. I was especially interested to hear that some of the carriages had been used for the 1996 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. I loved the striped interior of the carriage below, which had been left in its original state. Can you just imagine being driven around whilst sitting on pink striped glazed chintz!

Jane Odiwe

Read Full Post »