The Regency Lady Vs The Modern Day Gal

Always wondered how a lady of the Regency Era might have spent her day? Fear not, because we have the solution: an itinerary of a Regency woman’s daily toil…yes toil! It was hard going; she didn’t have lunch until 3! And to make matters more interesting…we have compared it to how YOU live now!

Time

Regency Woman

Modern Woman

7am

Be woken by maid. Put on make up, consisting of lead and rose powder for the complexion, charcoal for the eyes, and bear fat for smoothing the hair. Then get dressed…lots of layers…petticoats, a corset, an under dress and a day dress. Be woken by an incessant iPhone alarm that is quickly and repeatedly snoozed…

10am

After completing ones morning diversions (walking, playing the piano and reading) you are positively famished. Breaking ones fast is an hour long, leisurely affair consisting of tea, plum cake and hot rolls. Yum. Correct smudged make up after narrowly avoiding poking an eye out on a packed commuter train. Consume second coffee of the day…it’s going to be a long one!

11am

Between the hours of 11am and 3pm, young Regency women were expected to work on their accomplishments. Ladies of the gentry and upwards were expected to be accomplished in the following:

  • Singing
  • Playing an instrument
  • Painting
  • Embroidery
  • Reading
  • Dancing
  • Foreign Languages

Blimey…

After getting reams of paper stuck in the printer, and consuming another coffee, you have piles of work to get through and no time to get it all done! You barely have time to pop out and pick up a Prêt-a-Manger wrap for your lunch!

3pm

After taking a leisurely walk to a friend’s house for a visit, a light lunch is served. By now, a Regency lady is starving! Still working. Still running around like a headless chicken.

5pm

A change of outfit for dinner is required, slightly more elaborate than her day dress. How else would a Regency woman find her perfect husband? Logging off from your computer is a leisurely affair, as you contemplate the evening ahead.

6pm

Dinner. Stuffed. Nightmare re: impending ball…mustn’t throw up all over your hosts new carpets! Squashed, squeezed and breathless from standing up on the train home. Unable to avoid the smell of a carriage full of B.O.

9pm

“Ooh la la. Did you see what Lady Allen was wearing? Exceedingly ostentatious I do declare”. Whilst mingling amongst the distinguished guests at a ball thrown by an illustrious family, a Regency woman may indulge in a little gossip! Watch an episode of Mad Men, or whatever American drama is flavour of the month, whilst consuming an overpriced microwave lasagne from M&S and a bottle of red if you are lucky!

12am

Dependent on the occasion, said ball may last until the wee hours, where the Regency lady will at last fall into bed, alone with the thoughts of the gentleman who danced with her for FIVE numbers…Do I hear wedding bells? Finally stumble into bed, not quite ready for another long day at work…

So there you have it, a day in the life of a privileged Regency gal, compared to the fast-paced modern world in which we live in! Please tell us which life YOU would prefer in the comments box below!

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