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Poem: "Putting the Past on a Pedestal" - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Putting the Past on a Pedestal"
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ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 1st, 2012 08:39 pm (UTC) (Link)


>> It says something else about Maryam, willing to take suggestion so quickly from her people even though it means re-doing the whole thing... an "ordinary" (this-earth) British butler or valet would've had to put such a suggestion in very submissive language... ooh, and that means they're *comfortable with her*... not so much worried about *station*, as even modern Brits are to a certain extent. <<

Absolutely. Maryam grew up both upstairs and downstairs. She is unusually inclined to merge the two, and she deliberately looks for other people flexible enough to accommodate her eccentricities. It's not an accident that she has an Irish-Catholic charlady and a black valet.

>> Arachne's flaw (don't change it! just pointing it out for later): A Brit of that class would've called the evening meal "tea"... something which confused *me* when I first heard it. (I immediately caught the 'pop round' bit when I first read it and grinned... but the Johnny Reb in me skipped right over "supper" without catching it...) <<

Hmm ... from what I know of "tea" it's an afternoon meal (usually with sandwiches and sweets) rather than evening, but that may have changed. When I have time, I will look up the vocabulary and menu for Victorian meals. Thanks for raising the question!
From: technoshaman Date: November 1st, 2012 08:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

Ah! There's two "tea"'s.

Cream tea is that of which you speak. Afternoon, finger sandwiches, scones, clotted cream (from which it gets its name), and jam. And of course tea.

It's a very *posh* thing.

Tea in *working-class* households is the evening meal. Usually not fancy at all.

That's the *current* phraseology. Good point, I don't know if it has been the same that long (back to Victoria) or not.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 2nd, 2012 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

More thorough research turned up quite a jumble of terms and timing for meals in the Victorian period. So I worked up a more detailed description of the typical range for nether-England. It should say "dinner" rather than "supper" though -- I'll need to fix that, and add a note. Thanks for your help.
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