On The Road!

Happy Friday!*

I know it’s not very sporting of me, but I had no interest in Royal Wedding shenanigans (not maligning those who did!–just not for me), so I won’t be discussing it here today.

In fact, I haven’t seen any of it except for in my Twitter stream, since I am on a train heading to the New England RWA Conference, where I’m meeting up with my friend and fellow author, Myretta Robens.

It’s cool doing this traveling, and I’m thinking about the hours our heroines spent in carriages on the road heading to country estates, Scottish castles, or remote cottages where their old governesses live. That’s a lot of time to spend inside with not much to do; in this day and age, where free time is at a premium, it feels like a veritable treat not to have anything else one can do, but back then, for an active person, it must’ve been maddening!

Of course, there were always books to read, but as we also know from our heroines, there weren’t a lot of fun books. Maybe their stodgy uncles would have forced some uplifting sermon-y thing on them, or they could have snagged a copy of Ovid’s poetry or something if they were being daring.

But books in massive TBR piles? Not happening for our ladies. No wonder they had time to moon about the hero! But for me now, I’m working on the train (this isn’t work, I am doing other work), and I do have no fewer than four books with me for a long weekend trip. About enough, right?

What would you do with long hours of travel time? What else do you suppose our heroines did while traveling?


*I know this isn’t the right type of carriage I’m discussing; YOU try to find good images while on a train and slowish Wifi.

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5 Responses to On The Road!

  1. What I do with long hours of traveling time, of course, is read. When I’m traveling alone (as opposed to with an easily bored kid) I actually look forward to long flights. Just me and my aisle seat, with a fully loaded Kindle and a nice, meaty magazine or two for takeoff and landing when I have to turn off electronics.

    As for our characters, I suppose travel could be fun as long as you had a congenial companion to talk to. If they ran out of natural conversation topics, I can imagine them doing riddles or “I Spy” or whatever equivalents they had. Now, traveling ALONE would be tedious, and I imagine traveling by yourself on the public stage opened you up to all kinds of annoyances, including the Regency equivalent of that airplane seatmate who wants to convert you to his religion or sell you on his business opportunity.

  2. Jane George says:

    They got their bums bruised, of course. We’re so spoiled by the ease of travel nowadays that an entirely different “I’m on an adventure” mindset would be necessary.

    I love that pic of the high flyer. The horses look as if they are carrying on their own conversation just like the ladies.

    hah, the word verification is: tedeness a new word for travel boredom.

  3. Artie Mesia says:

    Today I traveled to DC (7 hours in a car). I’m meeting my best friend at the National Gallery tomorrow to see the love of her life, Raphael’s St. George and the Dragon. So I rewrote the words to “Thoroughly Modern Millie’s Jimmy” and “The Slipper and the Rose’s Suddenly” and made one beautiful song about St. George. I can’t wait to sing it to her while we view said painting.

  4. I read when I travel (assuming I am not driving!) Years ago I used to do needlework while I traveled and I imagine a Regency lady might do the same. Or if I traveled in my own private coach and it was fairly comfortable I would sleep. Trust me I have slept in some lumpy, bumpy conveyances.

  5. Dtchycat says:

    A few years back we actually drove 26 hours from MA to FL to visit my mother – and – did it non-stop. Never, ever again! I brought books, but after the first couple of hours I was so sick of sitting in an uncomfortable seat…tried looking out the window to see the same dull side of the highway…and after 20+ hours – there really isn’t any conversation to relieve the tension of being cooped up in a car. So I cannot see how anyone way back when could stand days upon days of travelling in such primitive carriages.

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