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Old 02-03-2008, 04:16 PM   #21
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If you were financially independent in the 19th century, it was not uncommon to have indigent relatives drop in for tea and then stay for several months or years. Another way to beat working!
Oh! and you don't think it happens anymore, figuratively speaking? I have a few relatives who are incessantly fantasizing on how best I could spend my stash on them...
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Old 02-03-2008, 05:04 PM   #22
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If you were financially independent in the 19th century, it was not uncommon to have indigent relatives drop in for tea and then stay for several months or years. Another way to beat working!
We tell ours to bring their favorite yardwork tools...
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:58 PM   #23
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No inheritance or allowance from a relative? - than you had better marry for money (men too), or god forbid, you would find yourself working which mean an instant and severe drop in social status.Audrey

So if one had no income, the clergy was a means to avoid having to get a real job, which was considered low.

What were the white-collar jobs of the day, and were they considered to be working stiffs? I'm sure professionals like doctors and lawyers were admired, but otherwise did the rich attend college just to improve the quality of their conversation?
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:15 PM   #24
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What were the white-collar jobs of the day, and were they considered to be working stiffs? I'm sure professionals like doctors and lawyers were admired, but otherwise did the rich attend college just to improve the quality of their conversation?
White collar jobs in Victorian times included clerks (e.g. Bob Cratchit in Scrooge). At that time, most doctors learnt their trade by apprenticeship and medical education was a hodge podge of tradition and booklearning. It didn't become standardized till the early 20th century. In Britain, (male) heirs to estates often "inherited" seats in Parliament (and the local (male) tenants would be expected to vote for them. And yes, many young men "went up to" or "came down from" Oxford or Cambridge, having stayed a year or two, without ever completing a degree. Apparently having been there was enough.
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Old 02-03-2008, 07:44 PM   #25
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And yes, many young men "went up to" or "came down from" Oxford or Cambridge, having stayed a year or two, without ever completing a degree. Apparently having been there was enough.
"Gentlemens' "C"s dontcha know. A gentleman never appears to be putting too much effort into anything. One simply doesn't try too hard. Bad form.
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Old 02-03-2008, 10:25 PM   #26
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Law was also considered a (barely) gentlemanly career. Many younger sons of high ranking families went into the military as officers, but someone had to buy a commission, so that career was available only to those who had a relative willing to pay for it.

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Old 02-04-2008, 07:39 PM   #27
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I heard somewhere that Prince Charles was the first royal to get a university degree (at Cambridge, where he earned the equivalent of a "C" average.)
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:54 PM   #28
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I heard somewhere that Prince Charles was the first royal to get a university degree (at Cambridge, where he earned the equivalent of a "C" average.)
The world is run by "C" students.
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Old 02-04-2008, 08:07 PM   #29
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I heard somewhere that Prince Charles was the first royal to get a university degree (at Cambridge, where he earned the equivalent of a "C" average.)
I've also heard that President Bush graduated with a C average.

The average bust size in the US is also now a C.

There is a growing body of evidence that C, while not effective in fighting colds, is effective in speeding healing following surgery.

Coincidence, I think not.

C U L8
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Old 02-04-2008, 09:08 PM   #30
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The world is run by "C" students.

After seeing what passes for scholarship these days....

When did academia lose their collective minds?
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:11 PM   #31
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Audrey and FireDreamer,
That is so interesting to hear you say that reading about 19th century gentry influenced your goal to ER; I'm in the same boat. I think I used to read more of that literature early in my career when I felt the sharp contrast between my hard career demands and the lives of the people in the books, and set about to get there myself in a very 21st century fashion (start web companies or whatever).

I'd be curious if there are an inordinate number of 18th and 19th century European literature/lifestyle fans around ER circles....
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Old 02-04-2008, 11:45 PM   #32
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Audrey and FireDreamer,
That is so interesting to hear you say that reading about 19th century gentry influenced your goal to ER; I'm in the same boat. I think I used to read more of that literature early in my career when I felt the sharp contrast between my hard career demands and the lives of the people in the books, and set about to get there myself in a very 21st century fashion (start web companies or whatever).

I'd be curious if there are an inordinate number of 18th and 19th century European literature/lifestyle fans around ER circles....
Interesting. Well I don't know where my fascination with the 19th century gentry's lifestyle comes from. My grand-parents were all farmers, my parents were hard working professionals who would have never even considered ER, and yet when I was 5 years old my parents asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up. They expected the classics, like cop, vet, or fireman... Apparently I answered: "millionaire without working" which made my parents burst with laughter. They got so amused by my answer that they are still teasing me about it... Off course when I grew up I realized that, unlike people in the gentry, I would have to work first before becoming a "millionaire without working" i.e. becoming financially independent. But I never gave up on the dream though my parents really think that it's all what it will ever be, a dream. But by the time I am 43, I hope to truly be a "millionaire without working" (they don't know that at 33, I am already well on my way to realize my dream ).

But to this day I am fascinated with everything 18th and 19th century, be it lifestyle, manners, decors, art, though I don't miss the clothes (especially 18th century clothes)...
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Old 02-05-2008, 07:45 AM   #33
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I to like the gentry lifestyle of the 19th Century. If you would like to read about men of leisure try some Oscar Wilde. Guys with money and nothing to do all day.
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Old 02-05-2008, 01:20 PM   #34
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Financial independence was always really important to me even at a very early age (did my parents try to control me too much through my allowance? LOL!). So I think the freeing nature of financial independence portrayed in the books I read from an earlier culture naturally appealed to me - and very strongly indeed. At first for FI for me meant getting a scholarship to college, and then having my own career and earning my own money (important as I am female - a woman financially independent of her husband was very unusual when I was a girl). Later, FI meant not needing to earn a living at all. I had always fantasized about that possibility, but when I got lucky enough in my career to see that such a thing could happen for me at an early age, I absolutely leapt at the chance - no question!

I suspect as well that I just never bought into the "wage slave" and going-into-debt consumerism that seems to be such a strong bias in our US culture. Today, a person's identity is usually defined by their career (the first question after introductions is usually - "so what do you do?") - I always hated that. Also, there seems to be a knee jerk assumption that the time one doesn't spend earning money is somehow "worthless". Education, rather than being a means to broaden one's mind and experience, is generally considered only worthwhile in pursuit of a career, etc. These attitudes have always rankled me, so I'm sure I was drawn to a period with very different attitudes that are more compatible with/reinforce mine.

However, I'm sure there are many, many cultural biases of the time period that would rankle me as well (esp. being female and not that socially inclined). We can pick and choose, can't we!

Many of my interests - bird watching(study), natural history, botanical illustration and drawing in general, classical education, were very predominant during that time. It was a period where the amateur (gentleman) scientist was in his heyday - Charles Darwin is an exquisite example. The 'professional' scientist didn't really exist yet. And, of course, then there were all the explorers and collectors and travelers....... so much fun!!!

My father was episcopal clergy (how's that for right out of the 19th Century!!!) - highly educated (doctorate of Theology from University of Heidelberg no less), and my mother was a musical prodigy, also highly educated in classical music. So at a young age I was very much exposed to a classical education in literature, art, music, etc. I also grew up in a British colony which still had some definite throwbacks to the 19th Century. I remember my parents going to the governor's mansion one evening for a formal dinner and having wear court dress!

I would have fit right into the 19th Century - assuming I had the financial means.

LOL!

Audrey
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Old 02-05-2008, 05:56 PM   #35
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Audrey:

I am a particular fan of the Aubrey/Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brien. Following a British Royal Navy captain and his ship's doctor (and naturalist and spy) in the early years of the 19th century, they touch on some of the same issues concerning the British gentry of the 19th century, but there is a little more action than one typically finds in Jane Austen or the Bronte's. Given your interests in natural history, you may like them (I am, perhaps wrongly, assuming you have not already discovered them). I share those interests and, as an ex-Navy man myself, am also interested in the sailing and fighting parts. The recent movie with Russell Crowe did not do them justice.
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:26 PM   #36
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This is a perfect thread with knowledgeable posts and humor. I have nothing interesting to say about the topic but would be interested to see it discussed in virtually any decade.

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Old 02-05-2008, 06:42 PM   #37
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Science Fiction here. Mandatory reading in High School pretty well killed any enthusiam for the 19th century. Although - Moby Dick the movie was endurable.

heh heh heh -
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Old 02-05-2008, 07:34 PM   #38
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Audrey:

I am a particular fan of the Aubrey/Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brien. Following a British Royal Navy captain and his ship's doctor (and naturalist and spy) in the early years of the 19th century, they touch on some of the same issues concerning the British gentry of the 19th century, but there is a little more action than one typically finds in Jane Austen or the Bronte's. Given your interests in natural history, you may like them (I am, perhaps wrongly, assuming you have not already discovered them). I share those interests and, as an ex-Navy man myself, am also interested in the sailing and fighting parts. The recent movie with Russell Crowe did not do them justice.
Have the first 5 books right here on my shelf. I just haven't gotten around to reading them yet.

I absolutely adored the movie Master and Commander and I recognized all the parallels with Darwin's travels as recounted in Darwin's "The Journey of the Beagle" (I think that's the title). That book was absolutely fascinating. I also have a particular weakness for 19th Century British Navy movies/TV series. I loved the A&E series Horatio Hornblower. I'm not really much of a military enthusiast at all, but somehow a tall sailing ship carrying many guns totally captures my interest, and I find myself fascinated by the sailing and fighting parts too. I enjoy the historic methods of navigation and mapping as well.

I did enough research into this class of fiction to dig up a biography of Thomas Cochrane whose astounding real life naval exploits far exceed that which would be believed in a novel!

Am also a sailboat sailor myself. But no guns - LOL!

Thanks for the tip. If the movie didn't do the books justice, then I really look forward to reading the books!

Audrey
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:12 PM   #39
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I started Tom Jones a couple of days ago. I knew from the introduction it would be a romp and so far that's exactly what it is. Not very flattering to the women of the time, however. The rich ones are ugly, the poor ones are ugly, and all the rest are "wicked sluts and strumpets"!
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:22 PM   #40
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I loved the movie Master and Commander, except for one detail which drives me crazy: at the beginning they get the bells wrong!

First they strike 7 bells. It's obviously the morning watch so it's 7:30 am. A little later --7 bells again!!

Ding-ding ... ding-ding ... ding-ding ...ding! Aaargh! A bilgewater grog for the lubber who strikes the wrong time!
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