Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Cottage for Two Ladies in 1817

Thursday, February 12, 2015
1817 cottage
Loretta reports:

Readers enduring vile winter weather may enjoy this bit of escapism—a cottage in a pretty, rural setting.  Given our various posts about servants, it’s interesting to read of two ladies needing three female servants and one gardener.  Would you have expected more or fewer servants?
Ackermann’s Repository 1817

Cottage description

 Images courtesy Philadelphia Art Museum via Internet Archive.

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will allow you to read at the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.


Karen Anne said...

Gardener, cook, maid, and someone to help them dress and take care of their clothes. Sounds about right. I wouldn't mind that myself :-) except I can dress myself :-)

Marti said...

I was thinking that I could live here by myself.

AuntieNan said...

Don't forget laundress, unless they could send the washing out! I just read Jo Baker's Longbourn and have a permanent case of red knuckles ever since I finished it! And someone to drive them into town or to visit friends, unless they lived close enough to walk to the market. Middle aged ladies were great walkers in those days!

Lillian Marek said...

What intrigues me about this is the windows—or the lack thereof—in the bedrooms. There are, according to the description, five bedrooms upstairs, but there is only one upstairs window in the picture. Are there more on the other side of the house? In the end gables? It seems a bit gloomy to me.

Anonymous said...

What I find interesting is that the architectural plan uses the original spelling of "parlour". It says "parler", from the French "to speak" - which is what the room was designed for.

Bookish Miss said...

@Lillian: There may have been windows in the end gables; it seems likely to me, having studied similar designs in grad school. That said, I don't recall when the glass tax was repealed, so there might be fewer windows to keep taxes down.

seaeagle said...

My Grandmother was in service in late victorian and edwardian britain. Her last post was in the household of a well-to-do widow in a village outside Plymouth - there were two servants - she was a Cook-General and the other a House-parlormaid - I cannot remember if there was a gardener - this would have been about 1912. She had taken a step down to be near her fiance - my grandfather having started as a scullery maid in 1899 aged 13 and worked up to be a head cook in a large mansion in Torquay.

I wish we had written down her stories as there were quite a few.

KanadaKate said...
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