No, we aren’t going anywhere. My family and I spent last evening helping set up the house for our church’s new pastors and their family. So, when I started thinking about what I was going to write for the blog this week, I naturally thought about houses and moving.
It’s no secret that many aristocratic families in the nineteenth century in England had more than one house. If you were titled, you had your family seat—the original estate that went with your title. For example, the family seat of Earl Spencer (related to the late Diana, Princess of Wales) is in Althrop, Northamptonshire (shown in the picture). You might also have smaller homes salted around the country for other purposes: a lodge in the north for hunting season, a "cottage" in the Lake District or along the shore for summer. And you had to have a townhouse in London when you went up for the Season.
If you weren’t so fortunate as to have been born with all these homes in the family, you rented homes in all these places instead. That way you could still follow Society about the country. Often rented homes came furnished and decorated, so all you had to do was show up with your servants and have them make up the beds with fresh linens.
However, either in homes you owned or homes you rented, sometimes you just didn’t like the furnishings and decided to redecorate. Also, some people had a special set of paintings or furnishings without which it just wasn’t home. For example, even though the Duke of Wellington had lovely furnishings at Apsley House in London, his seat in Stratfield-Saye along the Hampshire/Berkshire border, and 10 Downing Street in London when he was prime minister, he insisted on sleeping on an old camp bed. Your servants also had to pack up those items and make sure they were reinstated wherever you were going. You might also want to bring some of your books with you as you traveled about.
And speaking of books, Meg is the winner of a copy of Betraying Season! Meg, please contact Marissa at her website with your mailing address. Thanks to all who commented! Excellent suggestions all around. Look for us to be implementing many of them in the coming weeks.
And please come back next week for a special set of posts dedicated to Marissa’s Betraying Season, which makes its hardcover debut on Tuesday!