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Sunday, September 12

Jane Austen Throwdown: How Do You Compare to an Accomplished Regency Lady?

Mr. Elton admires Emma's pale drawing
"A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word [of an accomplished lady]; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved."

"All this she must possess," added Darcy, "and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading."-
Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice
As Mr. Darcy pointed out, single young ladies had to learn many accomplishments during Jane Austen's day. Which of the following skills have you mastered? Pick as many as apply.  (Note: the code has been fixed. I apologize for the inconvenience to those who already voted.)

Do You Share A Regency Lady's Accomplishments?
I do gardening or flower arranging
I have an extensive knowledge of the classics
I speak a foreign language
I plan and oversee large house parties
I embroider, crochet, or knit
I can sew, alter, or mend clothes
I draw, paint or sketch
I play cards or parlor games
I ride horseback
I play a musical instrument
I decoratively paint furniture, or make purses or other crafts
I have taken singing or elocution lessons
My posture is straight and correct
I go for a daily walk or constitutional
I dance the most recent and popular dances
I possess a thorough knowledge of etiquette and manners
I am active with at least one charity free polls

  • If you clicked 15 or more of the above, you would even satisfy Mr. Darcy's strict definition of the minimum skills a lady needs to earn the title of "accomplished".
  • If you clicked 10 or more, Mr. Bingley would be wholly satisfied with your ladylike skills.
  • If you clicked 5 or more, you are probably a tomboy and will fit in very comfortably with Catherine Morland and her set.
  • Fewer than five? Oh, dear. But there is hope for you yet. Remember, Regency ladies learned these skills superficially at Mrs. Goddard's school, for example, or from their governesses. They couldn't figure out how to use an iPad if they tried.


Meredith R. said...

I'm afraid I cannot satisfy Mr. Darcy, but Mr. Bingley would find my skills quite satisfactory.

Anna said...

Oh dear! I'm just like Catherine Morland... ah well, good enough for Henry Tilney!

Hilden said...

I wouldn't worry too much about not fulfilling Mr. Darcy's strict requirements. Afterall, he married a woman who did not fulfill many of those requirements either.

Enid Wilson said...

I'm a tomboy. But I agree with Hilden. Darcy's dearest didn't possess a lot of the "skills" either.

My Darcy Mutates…

Nonna Beach said...

I scored 10, but I think enough to satisfy even Mr. Darcy. I think Mr. Collins & Lady Catherine were far more critical of the women in P & P to the point of being annoying, arrogant and others wishing them to be gone as soon as possible. Darcy's criticism was to mask his true feelings about Elizabeth because being in love was his main requirement, not talents or fortune !

Blodeuedd said...

Lol, it seems I am a tomboy, barely

Jean at The Delightful Repast said...

Going by that list, I fear I don't make the cut. But I have other accomplishments not on the list, so I think Mr. Darcy would be well pleased with me. He would have the devil of a time keeping me out of the kitchen, though!

Sophie said...

Yep. I would have been cool in 1813.

RosieP said...

What if you managed to click eight?