Friday, 29 April 2011

Hints for Husbands and Wives


    KEEP up the practice of reading the paper during the whole of breakfast time; of allowing your self to be spoken to half-a-dozen times before you answer, and then of asking your wife what it was that she said. Upon her telling you, make some reply which is nothing to the purpose, as if you were thinking of something else.
    Having been out over night at an evening party, which your wife was prevented from going to by indisposition, entertain her the next morning by a minute description of the young lady you danced with, descanting on every point as enthusiastically as possible.
    Take frequent opportunities of praising features and personal peculiarities which are as different as possible from your wife's. For instance, if she has blue eyes, say how you like black; if dark hair, how much you admire light : if she is tall, remark that you prefer a moderate height; and if short, be constantly quoting Byron, to the effect that you "hate a dumpy woman".
    Some wives are very particular about their fenders. Should this be the case with yours, always use it for your footstool. When fresh drugget has been laid down on the stairs, particularly if it is a rainy day, invariably forget to scrape your shoes.
    Discover, frequently, on a cold raw morning, that the room is close, and insist on having the windows open. On the other hand, be as often, during the height of the dog-days, affected with a chilliness, which shall oblige you to keep them shut.
    Very often order dinner punctually at five, and very seldom come home till a quarter to six. Occasionally, however, return at the appointed hour, and, not finding things ready, complain that you are never attended to.
    If your fish, your joint, or your vegetables, should happen accidentally to be a little under or over done, never smother your disappointment like some people, but express it as markedly as you can, and remain in an ill humour for the rest of the evening. Be never quite satisfied with what is set before you; but, if possible, find some fault with every dish : or, if not, quarrel with the arrangements of the table. If you can find nothing else to grumble at, think of something that you would have liked better than what has been got for you, and say so.
    Wives occasionally make pies and puddings, with a view to a little approbation. Never bestow this, on any account; but always say you wished these things were left to the cook.
    Knowing that there is nothing but cold meat in the house, bring home, every now and then. half-a-dozen men, unexpectedly, to take pot-luck with you. Your wife will probably sit a table flurried and uncomfortable; in which case, amuse them by joking at her expense.
    Should you chance, after dinner, to be affected by a slight drowsiness, never resist it because your wife wishes to chat with you; do not mind her, but go quietly to sleep.
    When you have an evening party at your house, come home to dress just as the company is beginning to arrive.
    Should you find yourself at eleven o'clock at night among a set of bachelor friends, and be offered a cigar, always stay and smoke it, and another after it if you like, and, if you please, another after that; in fact, as many as you find agreeable; never troubling yourself for an instant about keeping your wife and the servants up.
    In short, on all occasions, consult studiously your own inclinations, and indulge, without the least restriction, your every whim and caprice; but never regard your wife's feelings at all; still less make the slightest allowance for any weakness or peculiarity of her character; and your home will assuredly be as happy as you deserve that it should be.
Punch, 1844

    YOUR first consideration before marriage was, how to please your lover. Consider any such endeavour, after marriage, to be unnecessary and ridiculous; and, by way of amends for your former labour, let your sole object be, to please yourself.
    Be at no pains to look well of a morning. A long toilet is tiresome; particularly when it is cold. "Taking the hair out" occupies nearly ten minutes :  come down to breakfast, therefore, in curl papers; also in a flannel dressing-gown; and, unless you expect callers, remain in déshabille all day. Husbands are nobodies, and comfort is to be studied before appearance.
    But are you to neglect your attire altogether? By no means. Indulge your taste in dress to the utmost. Be always buying something new; never mind the expense of' it. Payments belong to husbands. If you see a shawl or bonnet in a window, order it. Should a silk or a muslin attract your eye, desire it to be sent home. Does a feather, a ribbon, a jewel, strike your fancy?  purchase it instantly. If your husband is astonished at the bill, pout; if he remonstrates, cry. But do not spoil your finery by domestic wear. Reserve it for promenades and parties. It is the admiration of society, that you should seek for, not your husband's.
    Be constantly seeing tables, chairs, window curtains, and other furniture which you like better than your own; and insist upon their being got. Want to get rid of your old piano, and have a new one. If your husband keeps a carriage for you, desire a better; if be does not, and cannot afford it, complain. Whenever your desires exceed his means, look unhappy, and hint how much more advantageously you might have married. Never smile and hope for better things, but make your husband feel, as keenly as you can, the inadequacy of his means to support you.
    Practise, however, a reasonable economy. Take every opportunity of making a cheap purchase; and when asked of what use it is? reply, that it is "a bargain."
    Enjoy ill health. Be very nervous: and, in particular, subject to fits; which you are to fly into as often as your husband is unkind, that is, whenever he reasons with you. Make the most of every little ache or pain; and insist upon having a fashionable physician. There is something very elegant in illness; a prettiness in a delicate constitution - affect this attraction if you have it not - men admire it exceedingly.
    Put yourself under no restraint in your husband's presence Sit, loll, or lie, in just what way you like, looking only to the ease of the posture, not to its grace. Leave niceties of conversation and sentiment to the single; never mind how you express yourself; why should wives be particular? When your husband wishes to read or be quiet, keep chattering to him; the more frivolous and uninteresting the subject, the better. If he is disposed for conversation, be dull and silent: and whenever you see that he is interested in what he is talking about, especially if he wishes you to attend to him, keep yawning.
    There are two ways of discharging your household duties. If you are languid and listless, you may let them alone : if not able, you should be continually turning the house topsy-turvy, under pretence of setting it to rights. You can either let your servants do just as they please; or you may be continually in the kitchen, looking after them. In the latter case, scold them frequently, and in an audible voice, so as to be heard upstairs. Never think of looking to your husband's shirt buttons;  leave that to the laundress; or, if you must attend to his linen, superintend your washing  in person, and have frequent water-parties; and, especially in winter, always have the clothes dried before the parlour fire.
    If your husband has to go out to a business-dinner, or to the play, never let him have the latch-key; and should he, on any occasion, stay out late, send the servant to bed, sit up for him yourself, and make a merit of the sacrifice to "the wretch."
    Have a female confidant, who will instruct you in all the ill qualities of husbands generally, and will supply any deficiencies in the above hints. In conclusion, bear these grand principles in mind - that men must be crossed and thwarted continually, or they are sure to be tyrants; that a woman, to have her rights, must stand up for them; and that the behaviour which won a man's affections, is by no means necessary to preserve them.

Punch, 1844

Gross Improprieties

An astonishing report showing how the mid-Victorians viewed what we now call domestic abuse; and the relationship between husband and wife. Utterly terrifying. The husband receives a heavy fine (£50 would have been a year's income for a manual labourer in this period; and still a large sum for a shop-keeper, one might think) but read the language of the judge - who did he think was really at fault here? The answer is depressingly obvious.
THAMES POLICE.—Yesterday Thomas Elliott, a stationer and newspaper-agent, who keeps a shop in the Back-road, Shadwell, was brought before Mr. BALLANTINE, charged with assaulting William Barnes, a painter in the same neighbourhood.
    The complainant is an elderly stout man with a grave countenance, and appeared to have been terribly beaten. Both eyes were swollen and blackened, and his face and head disfigured with braises and cuts. His arm, which had been wounded, was secured in a splinter, and he was apparently in a very weak state from the severe punishment inflicted upon him. He stated, that on Friday evening last he met the wife of the defendant, who accosted him, and they held some conversation together. He walked with her a short distance down Johnson-street, and was about to part with her, when he was suddenly attacked by the defendant, who came behind him and felled him to the ground, and then beat him as hard as he was able with his fists, the blows falling on his head and face in rapid succession. The defendant stood over him as a butcher over a sheep, and when he was tired of using his fists kicked him on the face and head and about the body till be was quite insensible. He received a kick on the fore-arm, and it was then so much swollen that he could not use it. After the defendant had beaten him, he attacked his own wife, and beat her in the same manner, and left her bleeding on the ground. The defendant, on the same night, came to his house and said he would have his life, and his manner was so ferocious that he would certainly have killed him if he had not concealed himself.
    The defendant, in reply to the charge, said, that Mr. Barnes had been the destruction of . his family and of his happiness. The complainant had been in the habit of meeting his wife repeatedly in the streets, and walking about with her, and she had grossly neglected her borne and her family, On Friday evening, when he came home, he found his wife had been absent for two hours, and when she came home she appeared to have been drinking, and was in a con- fused state. She went out again, and suspecting that it was to meet the complainant, he watched her and saw her meet Barnes, and walk down a secluded street towards the arches of the railway. He went through a dustyard and came upon them suddenly in a by-place. They were standing close together, between two carts, in earnest conversation, and he was so maddened with jealousy and rage, that he attacked them both, and certainly did not spare ether. After leaving them, be went home, and expected his wife to follow, but she did not come home, and he went in search of her, and actually found her with the complainant again near the same place. He had repeatedly complained of Barnes's attention to his wife, and had forbidden him to speak to her.
    Mr. BALLANTINE questioned the complainant, who admitted that Mrs Elliott met him a second time, merely for the purpose of asking him what to do, and he was advising her to go home , when her husband again made his appearance.
    Mr. BALLANTINE.— Have you ever been out with her in the evening alone?
    Barnes.—No, I have not, Sir.
    Mr. BALLLNTINE — Have you ever heard Mr. Elliott complain of your attentions to his wife?
    Barnes.—I have not. I know that he ill-uses his wife very much, and he beat her that evening, and she was complaining to me of it.
    Mrs. Elizabeth Sampson, a very respectable woman, said she was married to the brother of Mrs. Elliott, and that she had often seen Mr. Barnes and her sister-in-law drinking together, and had seen them frequently in the streets in conversation after sunset. She mentioned the circumstances to her husband, thinking it was very improper.
    Mr. BALLANTINE.— He beats her, I understand?
    Mrs. Sampson.—Yes, Sir, he does.
    Mr. BALLANTINE.—If a man beats his wife, it is one way to withdraw her affections from him.
    Mrs. Sampson.—My husband would beat me, Sir, if I was guilty of such gross improprieties as my sister-in-law.
    Mrs. Elliott was then called in. She had two black eyes, and her face was bruised as much as the complainant's. She complained that her husband had frequently beaten her, and on the last occasion nearly killed her. She begged of the magistrate to consider whether it was proper for a woman to be beaten and disfigured as she was.
    Mr. BALLANTINE.—You have been beaten very dreadfully, and I think your husband has acted very savagely; but don't you know he has objected, to your walking with the complainant? It is not at all reputable for a married woman to be wandering about the streets in that way.
    The wife laboured hard to excuse herself. She said she only met Mr. Barnes at the corner of Johnson-street, and walked side by side with him. Was it at all likely that she, who was the mother of font children, should carry on an improper intercourse with such an old man as Mr. Barnes?
    Mr. BALLANTINE— I don't know. Such things do happen; young women will seek old men sometimes. If you meet him, you ought to pass him. Your husband objects to your walking with him, and it is your duty to consult his wishes.
    Mrs. Elliott—I am sure we were never seen in any house together. I assist my husband in delivering the newspapers every morning, and I can't help meeting Mr. Barnes.
    Mr. Barnes—My business brings me to the same places, but I am innocent of anything wrong.
    Mr. BALLANTINE — I believe you have been waylaying that woman, and walking about with her at unseasonable hours, and have made her husband unhappy and his home uncomfortable: Yon have received a dreadful punishment that you will remember it as long as you live.
    Mrs. Sampson here stated that her sister-in-law had informed her that it was all the fault of Mr. Barnes, who was always following her. The defendant, who appeared excessively agitated, here burst into tears; and exclaimed, "I am a most wretched man!"
    Mr. BALLANTINE said; the defendant had not, behaved properly. He had beaten his wife in a cowardly and disgraceful manner. He might have left her as a worthless thing, but to beat  a woman in such a way was very dreadful and very unmanly. He could not help thinking that the wife had, by her own misconduct, frittered away the affections of her husband; but she was not to be beaten. He thought the justice of the case would be satisfied by ordering the defendant to enter into his own recognizances in the sum of 50l. to keep the peace towards his wife; and to Barnes for the next 12 months, and if he had any substantial reason to believe the complainant was following his wife, and his relatives were satisfied, he would make the complainant find bail, and put him to all the inconvenience in his power.

Times, October 14, 1842

Thursday, 28 April 2011

The Future of Publishing is Behind Us

Authors, editors and publishers who are currently agonising over sales, ebooks, and the general decline of Western Civilisation, may take some small comfort from this piece, from a book written in 1837:

"About twenty years ago, the literary tide set in favour of fiction. The extraordinary success of the Waverley Novels stimulated a host of writers to apply themselves to works of a similar class. If those who, after Sir Walter Scott, were the earliest in this literary field, did not acquire the same fame, or derive the same pecuniary advantage as the Magician of the North, they were sufficiently successful to encourage them to make new efforts, and to induce others to follow their example. Hence, about ten or twelve years since, when the mania for works of fiction was at its height, it was calculated that from two to three hundred appeared in the course of a year. All of them of any note could boast a sale of from 750 to 1000: decidely good ones often reached a sale of from 1500 to 2000 copies. A striking change has since come over the spirit of this class of literature. The authors, whose works of fiction a dozen years since commanded a sale of from 1500 to 2000 copies, cannot now command a sale of 500. I could mention many instance in confirmation of this, but it would be equally invidious to authors and publishers. I may state in general terms, that on one day, about six months ago, four novels, two of them by authors of great celebrity in the high and palmy days of works of fiction, were published by different houses. and that the sale of neither of the works exceeded 350 copies; that of three out of the four was under that number. Publishers have now come to the conclusion - a conclusion forced on them by painful experience - that the days of this class of works are past for ever. Authors may continue to write, but publishers will not publish, except in comparatively few cases, even though the copyright were offered them for nothing. If authors will write novels, they must publish them at their own risk. This, indeed, has been the case, though the public are not aware of the fact, in many instances of late years, as I shall have occasion afterwards to show at some length. The truth is that, with the exception of the works of fifteen or twenty authors, no individual ever now dreams of purchasing a novel for his own reading. The only copies bought are for the circulating libraries."

James Grant, The Great Metropolis 1837

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


Here's a lovely classification of London into social areas, several decades before Charles Booth:

Strictly fashionable neighbourhoods may be divided into
    Of exclusive neighbourhoods there are but few. Piccadilly, westwards from Devonshire House, decidedly takes the lead: His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge lends to their neighbourhood the sanction of his preference. The hero of Waterloo makes Hyde Park Corner classic ground; the Dukes of Devonshire and St. Alban's, the Marquis of Northampton, the Earls Cardigan and Rosebery, Lord Willoughby D'Eresby, and a host of our nobility, stamp this locality with supreme bon ton : if wealth can enhance Piccadilly as a place of residence, Miss Burdett Coutts and the Baroness Rothschild divide between them a million charms; but, above all, there is no locality in London commanding a nobler view than that enjoyed from the windows of the mansions in Piccadilly, extending far and wide over the parks, and terminated only by the undulating outline of the distant hills of Surrey.
    Most of the streets that abut immediately upon the parks, overlooking the greensward, are entitled to the rank of exclusive, although nothing can prevent vulgar wealth at times forcing itself into these favoured retreats of fashion, and becoming an eyesore to the whole neighbourhood. .... Arlington Street, overlooking the Green Park, is one of those dear exclusive neighbourhoods : the fine facade of Lord Spencer's noble mansion here attracts general attention. Park Lane is another, vying with Piccadilly in the intensity of fashion. Grosvenor Square, though in a less degree, approaches exclusiveness; while Portman, Cavendish, and Belgrave Squares, must be content to come within our ultra-fashionable category. Of merely fashionable streets, we boast a profusion;  those tributary to the leading squares, borrow from their aristocratic neighbours a lustre not their own; thus George's Street, Hanover Square, on a friend's card or your own, is quite correct, while George's Street, Bloomsbury, is outlawry and civil death!
    In nothing should a man who means to be in society in London be so scrupulous as about his address : life and death depend upon it : let a man study morals, characters, dress, equipage, or appointments, manner, deportment, or amiability, as he will, Baker Street and Russell Square will make all his exertions null and void ... take care that [your location] is situate in Lower Mount Street, Arlington Street ( on the west side, for the east side is only quasi-fashionable), Brook Street (upper) or Park Street, Grosvenor Square. Be very particular about this : eschew streets abounding with brass plates of dentists and doctors, or you are a lost mutton: fly, as you would the plague, neighbourhoods with public-houses at the corners; if a batchelor, a first floor over a jeweller's shop in Bond Street may be tolerated, provided you bring your own man cook and valet; but if a married man, your family is disgraced for ever ...
    The most ridiculous and unnatural, although highly fashionable, alliance between poverty and pretension, so prevalent now-a-days, has give rise to a custom of giving cards from clubs ... you must always avoid fellows who give you the card, not of their residence, but of their club; depend upon it, the leprosy of poverty hands about these fellows ...
    Quasi-fashionable neighbourhoods abound ... avoid the more northerly parts of the populous borough of Marylebone, the new streets and squares to the northward of Hyde Park, and the territories, of whatever descriptions, in the vicinity of Pimlico. The last-mentioned neighbourhood, especially, is proverbially fatal to fashionable expectations; yet many simple-minded persons from the country, opine that,in the neighbourhood of a royal palace, they must be right. ... even royal preference cannot establish the aristocracy of a vicinity famous only for its brick pits and its ale.
    Privy Gardens, May Fair, and Spring Gardens, may probably assert the custom of society in favour of their strictly fashionable character : the two latter, however, have assumed somewhat of a quasi character of late years; the streets secondary to Belgrave Square, and those leading from Piccadilly, are very much in the same condition.
Mixed neighbourhoods are so numerous as to defy classification : one end of a street, as Piccadilly, shall be intensely vulgar, the other shall aspire to the Corinthian capital of society.
    The East Indian, colonial, and merely wealthy circles gather together at the hither-end of Portland Place, and diverge round the Regent's Park, occupying those stately terraces, as new as their own families, and, like themselves, exhibiting fewer evidences of good taste than of magnificence. Harley Street, for example, is the headquarters of oriental nabobs - here the claret is poor stuff, but Harley Street madeira has passed into a proverb, and nowhere are curries and mulligatawny given in equal style. The natives here are truly a respectable praiseworthy body of men; and if it were not for the desperate but unavailing efforts of their wives and daughter to lug them into circles where their wealth excites only envy, and their ostentation only provokes contempt, would be above all praise or blame.
... Of high genteel neighbourhoods, Baker Street, Gloucester Street, Portman Square, the swarm of little streets nestling at the verge of Park Lane and those lying between St. James's Street and the Great Park, may be taken as examples. The people inhabiting this class of neighbourhoods are usually scions of respectable, and distant connexions of noble families, remarkably correct in their stlye of living and equipage, but evidently of slender means; however, they boast this advantage, that an educated taste can do more in this style of living with a thousand a year, than vulgar opulence can with ten times the revenue.
    Low genteel neighbourhoods we need hardly say are drugs in the market. The New Road, Paddington, Pimlico, Bayswater, Clapham, Upper Clapton, may serve as illustrations. Boarding houses abound, furnished lodgings are the staple commodity, and omnibuses pass the doors for your accommodation every five minutes. Hereabouts, if you believe the advertisements, there are always to be found, for next to nothing, "really comfortable homes", "liberal tables" and houses "replete with every convenience" ... French counts and disguised dancing masters preponderate ...
    Equivocal neighbourhoods are those where private residences, shops and manufactories are intermingled in heterogenous confusion. Lambeth, the Borough, Vauxhall, and the regions generally included in the "over the water" category belong to this unenviable description.

The World of London, by John Murray, in Blackwoods Magazine, 1841


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Monday, 25 April 2011

Telephone Operators

"The National Telephone Company recruit their operators from the ranks of bright, well-educated, intelligent girls, who are, in many cases, the daughters of professional men, doctors, barristers, clergymen, and others. After the preliminary examination the would-be operator goes into the telephone "school," which is fitted up as a dummy exchange, and is in charge of an experienced lady- instructor. Each pupil is furnished with a short list of terse, clear rules, and, sitting before the dummy plugs and switchboard, under the guidance of the instructor she is taught how to put these into practical use. The girls in turn act as subscribers, ringing up one another, and asking to be put on to certain numbers. An error made is pointed out, and continually questions are asked to test progress, until a pupil becomes sufficiently capable to be moved into the real exchange alongside an expert operator. A few weeks later and she becomes a fully fledged operator, whom practice and experience alone can improve. Her hours of duty are about nine daily, including the time allowed for midday dinner and afternoon tea. Few female operators work after 8 p.m., and their latest hour of duty is 10 p.m., when male operators take their places until the following morning has well begun.
    With pardonable feminine vanity the majority of the young ladies wear gloves while operating, to better maintain the contour and complexion of their busily worked fingers, and often conceals her ordinary walking habit under a loose kind of graduate's gown in dark material. This latter was a kindly idea of the N.T.C.'s administration to shield a sensitive and modestly-garbed operator from being distracted by an extra smart frock on either side of her.
    In the City calls practically stop at 7 p.m., but in the West-End half the day's work may be done between 10 p.m. and 12.30 am. The Holborn district wakes up first, owing chiefly to the Smithfield Meat Market, and the busy life of the other exchanges follows shortly afterwards. On the arrival of the dinner hour the operators are relieved by reserves, and take their seats at the attractively arranged tables in the dining-room. At every large exchange there is a spacious, cheerful room set apart for this purpose, a - kitchen, cooks, crockery, plate, furniture, etc., being provided free by the company. Here the operators dine or take afternoon tea. They provide their own food in so far as paying for what they consume, or an operator may bring in her own chop and have it grilled. The operators decide what next day's joint shall be, and this is served up with two vegetables, bread, butter, tea, etc at a price that would bankrupt the 'cutest and largest London caterer. Before this very sensible innovation, through rain, slush or snow the staff had to rush into the streets hurry through a cup of tea, a scone or bun in a crowded tea-room, and then return to faint later at the switchboard for lack of proper nourishment. Marriage terminates an operator's connection with the company, but, if specially experienced, she is registered on the reserve as a stand-by when epidemics come along."

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Bonus Feature

I've added a secret page to the website, which enables you to search Victorian novels. I created this a while back to allow me to search by keyword on some core texts (all Dickens novels, a lot of Wilkie Collins, some other random Victorian novels) but it's been dormant for a while, and I thought I might need it again.

Probably it will only be of use to yours truly, but the list of texts included is:

§ 1836-37  The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens

§ 1837 Henrietta Temple, Benjamin Disraeli

§ 1837 Venetia, Benjamin Disraeli

§ 1837-39 Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens

§ 1838-39 Nicholas Nickleby, Charles Dickens

§ 1839 Jack Sheppard, William Harrison Ainsworth

§ 1840-41 The Old Curiosity Shop, Charles Dickens

§ 1841 Barnaby Rudge, Charles Dickens

§ 1843 A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

§ 1843-44 Martin Chuzzlewit, Charles Dickens

§ 1844 Coningsby, Benjamin Disraeli

§ 1844-46 The Mysteries of London, G.W.M. Reynolds

§ 1845 Sybil, Benjamin Disraeli

§ 1845 Zoe, Geraldine Jewsbury

§ 1846-48 Dombey and Son, Charles Dickens

§ 1847 Agnes Grey, Anne Bronte

§ 1847 Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

§ 1847 Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

§ 1847-48 Vanity Fair, W.M. Thackeray

§ 1848 The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte

§ 1848-50 The History of Pendennis, W.M. Thackeray

§ 1849-50 David Copperfield, Charles Dickens

§ 1852 Basil, Wilkie Collins

§ 1852 Bleak House, Charles Dickens

§ 1853 Villette, Charlotte Bronte

§ 1854 Hard Times, Charles Dickens

§ 1854-55 North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell

§ 1855-57 Little Dorrit, Charles Dickens

§ 1857 The Professor, Charlotte Bronte

§ 1859 Adam Bede, George Eliot

§ 1859 A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

§ 1860 The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins

§ 1860-61 Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

§ 1861 East Lynne, Mrs. Henry Wood

§ 1861-62 Lady Audley's Secret, Mary Elizabeth Braddon

§ 1862 No Name, Wilkie Collins

§ 1863 The Water Babies, Charles Kingsley

§ 1864-65 Our Mutual Friend, Charles Dickens

§ 1865 Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

§ 1866 Armadale, Wilkie Collins

§ 1867 Cometh up as a Flower, Rhoda Broughton

§ 1867 Under Two Flags, Ouida

§ 1868 The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins

§ 1869 Lorna Doona, R.D. Blackmore

§ 1870 The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Charles Dickens

§ 1871 Through the Looking-Glass, Lewis Carroll

§ 1871-72 Middlemarch, George Eliot

§ 1874-75 The Way We Live Now, Anthony Trollope

§ 1876 Daniel Deronda, George Eliot

§ 1879 The Egoist, George Meredith

§ 1881 Portrait of a Lady, Henry James

§ 1883 The Story of an African Farm, Ralph Iron

§ 1886 Srange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson

§ 1887 She, H. Rider Haggard

§ 1887 A Study in Scarlet, Arthur Conan Doyle

§ 1890 The Sign of Four, Arthur Conan Doyle

§ 1891 New Grub Street, George Gissing

§ 1891 Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy

§ 1894 Esther Waters, George Moore

§ 1895 The Sorrows of Satan, Marie Corelli

§ 1895 The Time Machine, H.G. Wells

§ 1897 Dracula, Bram Stoker

The search page itself is here

Here's a sample result - every mention made by Dickens of the word Elephant ...

Friday, 8 April 2011

Dickens and the Crossing Sweeper

A brief anecdote on Dickens as a charitable Victorian gentleman:

MR. A. Tennyson Dickens contributes to Nash's for September a paper full of the most interesting memories of the great novelist, which are heightened by the fact that they come from his own son.


The writer recalls most of what happened during the stay of the family in Tavistock House, Tavistock Square:-

Shortly after my father had taken up his residence at Tavistock House there appeared upon the scene a crossing sweeper in the shape of a small boy. He was about fourteen years of age, and was, I firmly believe, the original of poor Joe in "Bleak House" which was written, as many of my readers may recollect, in 1852. The boy-sweep made these houses his headquarters, keeping the pavements and drive scrupulously clean. during the winter months, when the snow was upon the ground, he managed in some manner to collect little pieces of holly, mistletoe, etc., with which he decorated the barren flower-beds. After a time an intimacy sprang up between my father and the neglected lad, and Dickens finding the boy honest, industrious, and intelligent, saw to it that the little chap got his meals in the kitchen of Tavistock House, and sent him to school at night. The boy got on wonderfully well with his education, and when he came to be some seventeen years of age his benefactor procured for him a substantial outfit and sent him to the colony of New South Wales. It is satisfactory to know that the young man prospered well in his adopted country. After he had been in Australia some three years he wrote to his friend in England, thanking him for his kindness and telling him of his prosperity.

Day Rooms

Here, then is a description of every possible 'day room' in an upper-class home, from Robert Kerr's The Gentleman's House (1871). I hadn't heard of half of them; but then I tend to investigate the poor. If you don't fancy reading all of it, skim down to The Billiard Room (how to build one) and The Gentlemen's Odd Room - which gives you a glimpse of how young unattached males were expected to pass their time.


IN a house of very good class this apartment is used almost exclusively for serving luncheon and dinner, and perhaps breakfast; and the characteristics of such a room are so different from those of the corresponding room in more homely form, which is made to serve also as a Sitting-room for the family, whether during the day or in the evening, that it seems most convenient to treat of the latter in special terms, which will be done in a separate chapter, under the name of Parlour Dining-room.
    The proper Dining-room is a spacious and always comparatisely stately apartment, of which the chief characteristics ought to be freedom from the heat and glare of sunshine at those hours when it is in use, and a certain sort of seclusion as respects its situation, both internally and externally. . . .


In smaller houses, and indeded in many of considerable size, the Dining-room is used as a family sitting-room; sometimes for both day and evening; sometimes for the day alone, with the Drawing-room for the Evening; and sometimes for the evening alone - at least in winter, when Paterfamilias, having done his day's work and dined, refuses to move any more from a favourite easy chair. Then again, in some cases dinner is taken early in the day, without ceremony; in some the Drawing-room is "preserved"; both facts we must accept, and indeed others of similar bearing. In short, the character of the household, the style of living, and local peculiarities, form the ground of a deal deal of variety in the occupation of the so-called Dining-room, apart from mere eating puposes; and thus, in one way or another, the homely character of the Family Parlour of an inferior house is introduced; bringing with it a certain kind of comfort which a formal Drawing-room, for instance, does not seem to possess. Or, to put the matter otherwise, where there is no Morning-room (which is a Parlour or more homely Drawing-room) the Dining-room is often used as such, and in the evening may either be superseded by the more formal Drawing-room, or may not. . . .


This apartment is introduced in superior houses primarily ro relieve the Drawing-room; indeed, it may be called the common or morning Drawing-room of the house, and no more, with informal comfort as its particular characteristic; this is especially the motive in houses where the Drawing-room, so called, is "preserved."
    In more homely establishments it is often the breakfast-room: luncheon or children's dinner may be served in it, or perhaps a quiet evening dinner itself; and sometimes the family, when small in number, may continue there afterwards. It takes, therefore, in such cases, still more of the character of the old-fashioned Parlour, like the Parlour-Dining-room of the preceding chapter; being based, however, more upon Drawing-room conditions that before. . . .


The so-called Breakfast-room of some smaller houses (if worthy of mention at all) may be said to be an inferior variety of the Morning-room, and to be subject generally to the same regulations, except that the more exceptional uses suggested for the Morning-room are more appropriate here, namely the service of not only breakfast but early dinner or luncheon, or at times the quiet evening dinner when the family is small. It differs therefore from the proper Morning-room in this, that it possesses the character of the Parlour-Dining-room alone, and not that of the Drawing-room at all.
    In larger establishments, however, we find this apartment introduced in addition to a Morning-room; and then each of these apartments takes it own purpose. The Morning-room relieves the Drawing-room only, and the Breakfast or Luncheon-room the Dining-room only. Accordingly, the Morning-room being probably attached to the Drawing-room, the Breakfast-room is similarly placed near the Dining-room, so as to be placed in intimate conexion with the Service-room. It then frequently takes the formal character of the Dining-room in ordinary for a small family. . . .


This is the Lady's Apartment essentially, being the modern form of the Lady's Withdrawing-room, otherwise the Parlour, or perfected Chamber of Medieval Plan. If a Morning-room be not provided, it is properly the only Sitting-room of the family. In it also in any case the ladies receive calls throughout the day, and the family and their guests assemble before dinner. After dinner the ladies withdraw to it, and are joined by the gentlemen for the evening. It is also the Reception-room for evening parties. There is only one kind of Drawing-room as regards purpose: there is little difference except in size and evidence of opulence, between that of the duchess and that of the simplest gentlewoman in the neighbourhood. Consequently, although in most respects the chief room of the house, it is perhaps the most easily reduced to system of any. . . . .


The proper character of a Boudoir is that of a Private Parlour for the mistress of the house. It is the Lady's Bower of the olden time. In this light it does not serve in any way to relieve the Drawing-room; nor is it even supplementary or accessory to that apartment; but as the personal retreat of the lady, it leaves the Drawing-room - and the Morning-room if any - still occupied by the family and guests.
    In some cases, however, what is called the Boudoir is simply a secondary and smaller Drawing-room. It is then generally turned to accountin the way of ordinary use, especially in a small family, so as to preserve the Drawing-room for occasions of more importance. When the Drawing-room itself is very large, this arrangement may have its advantages; but it is manifest that such a Boudoir is really a Morning-room. . . .


The degree of importance to be assigned to the Library in any particular house would appear, theoretically, to depend altogether on the literary tastes of the family, and to be, indeed, so far, a criterion of those tastes. But there is a certain standard room, irrespective of such considerations, which constitutes the Library of an average Gentleman's House; and the various gradations by which this may be either diminished or augmented in importance are easily understood. It is not a Library in the sole sense of a depository for books. There is of course the family collection; and the bookcases in which this is accommodated form the chief furniture of the apartment. But it would be an error, except in very special circumstances, to design the Library for mere study. It is primarily a sort of Morning-room for gentlemen rather than anything else. Their correspondence is done here, their reading, and, in some measure, their lounging; - and the Billiard-room, for instance, is not unfrequently attached to it. At the same time the ladies are not exactly excluded. . . .


This apartment in a Gentleman's House is not meant to withstand the criticism of players; but we are bound to point out how it is to be more fastidiously planned when required.
    The difficulty lies more particularly in the arrangement of lights. The process of plotting the plan is this: set out 12 feet by 6 feet for a table of the most usual size, and not less than 6 feet all round for the players; form a ceiling light about the size of the table, and exactly over it; and give a fireplace where convenient, so as to warm the room effectually and yet not be in the way of the game. If a skylight cannot be had, the character of the room for use by day is seriously damaged; and windows in the walls must then be so contrived as to throw a light on the table which shall be as nearly as possible equal at all parts and without shadow, no easy matter. For artificial lights, three pairs of lights are placed over the table, forming an oblong 8.5 by 3 feet, at a height about 3 feet 4 inches from the table-bed to the flame.
    It is important that the table should be warranted against vibration; the floor, therefore, if there be a basement under, must be made rigid, and the construction contrived with special reference to the bearings of the table-legs, four on each side.
    If the room be large enough, there may be fixed benches or couches along part of the walls, elevated a few inches by a banquette or step. . . .


This apartment in its more proper and characteristic form ... is the private room of the gentleman, in which he conducts his affairs. In a superior house it will be a good-sized plain room, with space for a few maps on the walls, bookcases for practical works of reference, similar accommodation for papers, and a fire-proof closet for deeds and documents of importance. If a justice of the peace, the owner will make this apartment his Justice-room; as a landlord he will transact business here with his tenants and servants; and as master of the house he will receive tradesmen and domestics. His intimate acquaintances also will be shown in to see him here as visitors. . . . A Waiting-room or some equivalent space in the Servants' Corridor, ought to be provided in all good houses; or the Butler's Pantry will be used for the purpose, which is inconvenient. The Servant's Hall may be used more legitimately.
   The butler will ordinarily be the personal attendant of his master; and so it is well to place his Pantry close at hand. The Dining-room ought also to be sufficiently near to serve as a Waiting-room for friends: the Library is better kept private.
    Some gentlemen require an Agent's-room adjoining, for the land-steward or bailiff, or for a clerk; this may have a door or intercommunication with the Business-room (as indeed may the Waiting-room also) provided it is not considered to interfere with privacy.  A special Entrance is in such a case sometimes added, called the Business-room Entrance; this relieves the Servants' entrance altogether, but not the entrance-door of the house. . . .


The simplest form of Study exists in a small house built for a studious man, for instance a Parsonage. It is generally the Library also fro his own purposes; a bookcase of light reading being lpaced in the Dining-room or Drawing-room, for the family, but the arrangements of a Study attached (we may say instead of a Gentleman's-room) to a larger Library will not necessarily differ from what is required in this; as a study, in whatever circumstances, may be defined to be a place of reading and writing for one person alone. . . .


In our Mansions of the 17th and 18th centuries the Saloon is a standard feature. It occupies, for sintance, the middle of the Garden front, having on one hand the Drawing-room, and on the other perhaps the Library, with central doors of intercommunication, by means of which the three apartments are thrown into a suite at pleasure. ... The Saloon when used in similar form in more modern houses is, as a rule, still more of a thoroughfare and less of room . . .


A feature much esteemed in our best Mansions may be called by this name; being, in fat, generally a suitable portion of the Ground-floor, perhaps one particular wing, specially appropriated as a private lodging for the master and mistress fof the house. It comprehends a Gentleman's Sitting-room (being the Business-room), a Lady's Sitting-room (being the Boudoir), the Bedroom, Dressing-rooms, and appurtenances of a Principal Bedchamber Suite and occasionally a Waiting-room. The whole of these are grouped upon a private Corridor, which is often placed in connection with a special Garden door, thus constituted a Private Entrance for the suite. A Staircase close at hand goes upwareds to the Nurseries and Bedchambers of the Family. . . .


The Conversatory which is here referred to is merely such a structure as may be attacehd to the House by way of an adjunct to the Family-rooms, to accommodate potted plants and perhaps a few creepers to cover a wall or run up a pillar. . . . It must never be lost sight of that for a Conservatory to be too directly attached to a Dwelling-room is unadvisable. The warm moist air, impregnated with vegetable matter and deteriorated by the organic action of the places, is both unfit to breathe and destructive of the fabics of furniture and decoration. . . . The intercommunication most usual for a Conservatory is with either the Drawing-room, Boudoir or Morning-room; or what is probably better than all, with a Saloon, Vestibule, Gallery, or Corridor, immediately adjoining any of these apartments.  . . . The term Winter Garden is applied to a glasshouse on so extensive a scale as to cover a considerable area, say 50 feet square or upwards. . . .


The pitiable resources to which some gentlemen are driven even in their own houses, in order to be able to enjoy the pestiferous luxury of a cigar, have given rise to the occasional introduction of an aprtment specially dedicated to the use of Tobacco. The Billiard-room is sometimes allow to be more or less under the dominion of the smoker, if contrived accordingly; but this would in other cases be impossible; and there are even instances where, out of sheer encouragement of the practice, a retreat is provided altogether apart, where the dolce far niente in this particular shape may solely and undisturbedly reign. . . .


In the country more especially, the young gentlemen of the house may find themselves very much at a loss sometimes for an informal place in which "to do as they like." In one corner there may be a work-bench and tool-chest; over the mantelpiece there may be foils and dumb-bells; the fireside may be dedicated to the cigar, very properly forbidden elsehwere; there may be a lathe in another corner; in a closet, out of harm's way, there may be an electrical machine and half a dozen things of the sort; while in a plain cabinet at the end of the room there may be deposited collections, prepared and unprepared, botanical, entomological, mineralogical, &c. &c. &c. There seems no reason why, in a large house, there should not be one room more on this account.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Fine Dining

Excerpt from Robert Kerr's The Gentleman's House (1871) detailing the rooms in an excellent property, fit for a Victorian gentleman.


Defined.—Aspect.—Light; Prospect; use of Bay Windows.—Arrangement and dimensions. — Furniture, &c. — Fireplace. — Heating Apparatus. — Doors. —Dinner-route and service.—Hatch; Lift-table — Service-room. —Intercommunication as a Waiting-room.—Closets.—Spaciousness, &c.—External position. —Approach internally and Drawing-room route.—Classic and Mediaeval styles. -Illustrations passim.
IN a house of very good class this apartment is used almost exclusively for serving luncheon and dinner, and perhaps breakfast; and the characteristics of such a room are so different from those of the corresponding room in more homely form, which is made to serve also as a Sitting-room for the family, whether during the day or in the evening, that it seems most convenient to treat of the latter in special terms, which will be done in a separate chapter, under the name of Parlour Dining-room.
    The proper Dining-room is a spacious and always comparatisely stately apartment, of which the chief characteristics ought to be freedom from the heat and glare of sunshine at those hours when it is in use, and a certain sort of seclusion as respects its situation, both internally and externally.
    The best Aspect will obviously be Northward,—say due North or North-East. It is true the North may be gloomy, and the North-East is in some degree exposed to cold bleak winds; but North-West windows in the summer evenings begin as early as five o'clock to admit the rays of the setting sun ; and to dine in inch circumstances, or with blinds drawn, may be unpleasant. The North also is the quarter where evening twilight lingers longest; and twilight, over dessert for instance, is better than candles. East is generally unobjectionable. Any aspect from South-East to South admits the sunshine strongly, although diagonally, at the hour of luncheon. A South or South-West aspect, it need not be said, may give a Dining-room the character of an oven. (See Aspect-Compass, p. 81.)
    The Windows ought, as a rule, to occupy one side (a Dining-room of any size being almost necessarily oblong), rather than one end. A room lighted from the end alone cannot be so cheerful as it might be, especially if looking Northward ; it will also be comparatively close ; and when daylight is waning it will become unpleasantly dark in one part, whilst sufficiently illuminated in another. When light, however, can be obtained at one end in addition to the side windows, this, in a large apartment, is very pleasant. The aspect of such End-light ought of course to be Eastward rather than Westward.
    When the Dining-room is to be used for breakfast, it is specially worth while to have a more Eastward aspect, for the sake of the always delightful morning sun ; or an Eastward end-light will in this case be sufficient—often even preferable. (See Breakfast-room.)
    When any special purpose of Prospect has to be provided for, it as undesirable in the case of a Dining-room as in any other, that this should be allowed to affect the aspect of the principal or side windows ; end windows ought to be at once resorted to ; and it is plain that these may be contrived so as to meet almost any possible demand of prospect. Even still, however, we must duly weigh whatever disadvantages may remain ; because, in a really good Dining room, these may be of great moment ; and against such considerations the value of the prospect ought not to be over-estimated. Ingenuity of arrangement may do much ; but suppose, for example, that in order to command an expansive view due Westward, the end wall is largely opened up in windows, it must never be forgotten that the amount of heat admitted during the afternoon and at the very hour of dinner may become very embarrassing, and this in spite of any attempt at its exclusion by opaque blinds, by which, of course, the cherished landscape also would be shut out.
    Bay-windows, of various forms and sizes, are one of the most useful and pliant of all contrivances in respect of the more ordinary questions of prospect ; and it may be almost said that in no case ought a sacrifice of aspect to be resolved upon until every effort has been made in this way to avoid the necessity. Instances of the application of the bay-window are given on the margin.
    The internal arrangements of a Dining-room have to be based upon the primary idea of accommodating a given maximum number of persons at table, and in a given style. Taking the width of the dining-table, with the proper addition on each side for the company seated, and allowing free passage behind them for the servants, we obtain, according to the style of dining dictated, the requisite width for the apartnent; bearing in mind, of course, chairs left unoccupied at the walls, hearth-rug and screen, sideboard and dinner-waggons, so far as any of these may affect the question. The length is then determined simply by the number of persons to sit down, adding a sufficiency of clear space at the ends for service. The sideboard, if at one end, as it ought to be, and the fireplace, if this be at one end, as it very frequently is, must also have abundant space. A small Dining-room ought never to be less than 16 feet wide ; from 18 to 20 feet is a full width; beyond this is almost matter of state.     In plotting on plan the Furniture of a Dining-room, allow from 4 to 6 feet for the width of the table; 20 inches on each side for the company seated; from 24 to 30 inches in length as the sitting space of each person; from 2.5 to 5 or 6 feet, clear of furniture, for passage-way behind; from 6 by 2 feet to 10 by 3 feet for the sideboard ; from 4 to 5 feet by 22 inches for a dinner-waggon or cheffonier ; 20 inches from the wall for the projection of a chair; and from 15 to 30 inches for that of a chimneypiece and fender, keeping in view also the hearthrug beyond.
    The proper position for the Sideboard is at one end of the room; at the back, that is to say, of the master's chair. Where it is not so placed, communication with the servants is rendered awkward, especially in smaller rooms. It need not be said also that there is a certain importance about a good sideboard, which demands one end of the room for itself. Indeed, the general practice of forming a special recess in that position for its reception can scarcely be improved upon. The sideboard ought never to be surmounted or even flanked by windows ; because not only are the operations of the servants thus brought into prominence, but when a gentleman does honour to his guests by displaying his plate, its effect may be destroyed by the glare of light. A bay-window at one end, facing the sideboard at the other, with the fireplace in the middle of one side, and the chief light opposite, make an excellent arrangement. (See the second of the recent diagrams.)
     It is true that with English people the Dining-room is often in a great measure used by artificial light ; but this does not require any modification of the above arrangements ; if the room be accommodated to daylight, artificial light is easily accommodated to the room.
     The Style of finish, both for the apartment itself and for the furniture, is always somewhat massive and simple ; on the principle, perhaps, of conformity with the substantial pretensions of both English character and English fare. It need not be sombre and dull, or indeed devoid of cheerfulness in any way ; but so far as forms, colours, and arrangements can produce such a result, the whole appearance of the room ought to be that of masculine importance.
    One feature which has always a substantial aspect in this apartment is the unbroken line of chairs at the wall. Although it is not desirable to make a Gentleman's Dining-room like the Assembly-Hall of a Corporation or the Long-room of a tavern by carrying this principle to an extreme, yet it is not well when other articles of furniture are placed at intervals in such number as to give the apartment the character of a Parlour. In fact, as much as possible, every chair ought to stand at the wall facing its place at the table ; both for convenience and for association with the purpose of the room. With regard to dinner-waggons or cheffoniers, their best position, and most useful, is at the two end corners opposite the Sideboard.
    In very superior rooms it is sometimes the practice to place the chairs, or a portion of them, when not in use, not against the wall, but around the table. If this be done to leave the wall-space free for the display of objects of virtu, it is so far well;. otherwise care has to be taken that there shall be some other sufficient reason apparent. 
    The position of the Fireplace with relation to the door and windows is in perhaps all other rooms a matter of the utmost importance. In a Dining-room, however, used exclusively as such, the only purpose of the fire is to warm the room throughout, and if possible equably, without purposely constituting what is invaluable in a Sitting-room, a comfortable fireside; so that, but for our pardonable prejudices in favour of the open grate, the best mode of heating for the special purpose would be by hot-water apparatus. Consequently, the fireplace has simply to be placed where it shall best warm the room and least scorch the company. To put it in a recess sometimes helps the matter; to bring it forward with a chimney-breast does the reverse. In any room over 30 feet in length two fireplaces are sometimes provided. Both ought to be on the same wall, opposite the windows, unless there be special circumstances to prevent it. If the fireplace should be in the end wall opposite the sideboard, it is satisfactory; if flanked by end windows, there is no objection ; if on the same wall as the door—an arrangement generally fatal to a Sitting-room—the Dining-room need not suffer, provided the distance between the door and fireplace be sufficient.
     With regard to the use of Heating-apparatus, the marginal sketch represents an arrangement adopted in a work of the author's in special circumstances, in an old room which had two radical defects, an end-light and narrow width. The fireplace was built
up, and two recesses formed, one on each side of it, for the dinner-waggons. Under these articles there were placed two small hot-water tables. Where the fireplace had been, a mirror was fixed, extending from floor to ceiling. (The end wall was also opened up into one large window; and the result was that an apartment which had been before in a manner abandoned, as useless, became a light and cheerful Dining-room, fit for the purposes of a man of rank.)
     The Door of a small Dining-room, if there be only one, ought to be placed, for the sake of service, close by the sideboard. (In larger rooms, as we shall see, the case is different.) Then, being hinged, according to rule, on the edge nearest to the fire, this will cause it, in opening, to expose, not the table, but the side-board ; which is as it ought to be. In the best form of an ordinary room it will thus occupy the sideboard end of the blank side wall. (See all the diagrams, p. 93.) Let it be specially made sufficiently wide for two persons to enter together without discomfort ; in good houses the width ought to be 32 feet. It is also worthy of mention again, as specially important, that the door must open sufficiently clear of the sideboard to admit of free entrance ; a principle not always attended to in narrow rooms.
     It is not unusual, and may sometimes be very convenient, to have one of the windows in the form of a Sash-door, when opening on a Terrace or Garden, as in Plate XXVIII. Cases have not been wanting, however, when such a door has provided unhappy facilities for stealing the plate.
     The Dinner-route is a consideration second to none with respect to the position of the Dining-room. In a small house the room will generally have but one door for both entrance and service ; in this case the route to that door from the Kitchen must be as short and convenient as other considerations will permit. Again, as the dishes must be carried to and from the door through the family part of the house,—the Corridor, for example, Staircase, or Vestibule,—it is essential that they shall not cross the track of family traffic, or otherwise be obtruded upon the notice of the inmates or visitors. In both the houses on Plate XXV. this difficulty is avoided, if not fairly encountered. Compare also Plates XXXII. and XXXIV. in this respect. The general question of the dinner-route is treated of under the head of Kitchen.
     A special Service-door is the next step in advance, as in Plates XVI. and XXV. It will of course be close to the sideboard ; it is sometimes put on the other side of this so as to match the principal door. Sometimes, however, and with good reason in larger examples, the latter is placed at the other end of the room, and none but the service-door at the sideboard end. (Many of the plates exemplify well the advantages of this arrangement ; indeed there are only a small minority on the contrary plan.) It is necessary, however, to remember that, if a service-door should communicate with the general Corridor of the Offices, this interferes with the privacy of the room ; besides that it is calculated also to admit the sounds of the Corridor in question. A double door is the remedy ; but the arrangement is still objectionable ; a private Lobby, however small, is much to be preferred.
     Sometimes a small Hatch (the buttery-hatch of old time) is formed at the sideboard, through which the dishes are handed from the Pantry or a Lobby, or a Service-room. (See Plate XXV., the upper example.) This is a plan which is often very useful in small houses; but in a large house it does not answer,—the servants will often, in an emergency, wish it were a door, and the continual interchange of audible communications through the aperture is a thing that can scarcely be prevented from attracting attention.
     Another appliance of recent introduction for Town-Houses, and others which have Basement Offices, is a Lift-table, within the limits of the Dining-room, communicating with a Service-room below. A small dinner-waggon, properly in a recess, is so contrived as to pass bodily up and down in a very simple manner, and the only task for ingenuity to accomplish is the satisfactory closing of the aperture in the floor when the Lift is down. The objections to the hatch still hold good here.
    When the style of living is at all above the average, it is exceedingly convenient to have attached to the Dining-room a Service-room; and, as the rank of the house advances, the development of this useful adjunct becomes more and more important, as the Plates show throughout. -(See also Service-room.) Our immediate concern, however, with this question need not go farther than the proposition that the door, connecting it with fhe Dining-room, will be necessarily close to the Sideboard and ie master's chair. Sometimes it has to be specially so placed s to protect the company from the curiosity of servants, particularly such as are not actually waiting. In very large establishments an Ante-room may have to be formed adjoining the Dining-room, for servants in attendance. On grounds of privacy it is occasionally desirable that this, and indeed a Serving-room no
should communicate with the Dining-room through an intermediate Lobby, however small.
    It is the rule primarily to have no door of intercommunication between the Dining-room and any other of the Family Apartments. The special habits of a family may, however, sometimes require it. Double doors may of course be provided in such a
case for the sake of privacy. The intercommunication will be least objectionable when it connects with the Business-room or Study, Saloon, Library, or Breakfast-room. To communicate with the Drawing-room, except in some very special case, is quite out of order, although by no means so uncommon as we might expect. (See Plates XVII., XXVII., XXX., and others.)
     It is to be remembered that the Dining-room is always subject to be used during the morning as a waiting-room for the gentleman's visitors ; this is a standard necessity in small houses, and no less practically the rule in even the largest ; its position therefore ought to be sufficiently near the Gentleman's-room or Study.
     Closets are generally considered out of character in a good Dining-room ; but there are persons of homely habits who sometimes prefer to have a special Store-closet at hand. (Plate XX.) Dwarf cupboards, it need not be said, are inadmissible, even in small houses ; they are only fit for the "Back-Parlour" of a shopkeeper.
     It is self-evident that a good Dining-room should be lofty ; that the windows should be of full size ; and that ventilation should be cared for, not merely to promote the egress of dinner vapours, but to prevent their further passage into the house.
     The external position of the Dining-room ought not to be such as to connect it with what may be called the ladies' quarter or the Lawn ; neither ought the windows to be so directly overlooked from the quarter of entrance as is frequently the case.
     The approach from the Entrance-door to the Dining-room need not be so direct as that to the Drawing-room. But the Drawing-room route to and from the Dining-room ought to be invariably planned with an eye to facility, directness, and special importance ; inasmuch as where there may be no other ceremoniousness whatever in the habits of a family, there will be at least a little of that quality, if only occasionally, in the act of proceeding to and from dinner. For such a route, therefore, there ought to be spaciousness ; also some extent of length ; and, lastly, directness, or freedom from turnings. A very excellent effect is had when the two doors in question, in a superior house, face each other at the ends of a Hall or Gallery. (Plate XL.) However small the house may be, to pass through a door of intercommunication, or to slip out of one door and in at the other three or four feet off, is always undignified. (Plate XXV.)
     Cases are too frequently to be met with, even in superior houses, where the Dining-room door is accidently situated so close to the Entrance that strangers coming from the Drawing-room to dinner are impressed with the idea of going out of the house: this ought to be provided against. It is an equally great mistake to place the Dining-room at such a distance inwards from the central point of thoroughfare as to create a long special passage thereto : the position of the door ought to be such that the room shall be seen to be one of the group of Family Apartments as much as any other.
     The question may fairly be asked whether any difference of general plan is recognised between a Dining-room of the modern Classic style, and one of the modern Medieval. The answer may safely be given, that any pretended peculiarity whatever of this kind may be taken for affectation in either style, except perhaps in the case of a State-room, which will be spoken of in its place. Any English Gentleman of the present day who would consent to sacrifice the characteristics of a comfortable Dining-room for the sake of imitating the manners, whether of ancient or modern Italy on the one hand, or Gothic or Tudor England on the other, would be charged by his acquaintance with something very much akin to eccentricity. (See further the next chapter on the Parlour-Dining-room; also that on the State Dining-room.)