Georgians At Home

Charlotte, Alice and Amelia are getting ready for a dinner and are being dressed by the Lady’s Maid, Barnes. It was normal then to refer to a Lady’s Maid by her surname. It was her job to do everything for her mistresses, from bathing them and dressing them to cleaning their clothes! She was also their personal stylist, so it was important for her to know all the latest fashions for hair, make-up and perfume (and how to make them herself!).

Jane Austen

Ladies did not get much privacy during Georgian times. With visitors and servants constantly coming and going, their bedrooms were one of the few places where they could be alone. In Jane Austen’s book called ‘Sense and Sensibility’ a character called Elinor is usually very sensible and keeps her thoughts to herself, but in her sister’s bedroom, she admits to her sister that she is very unhappy that the man she loves is going to marry someone else.

Explore an Object: A Secret Door

The doorway in the corner of this room is called a ‘jib’ door and was only used by servants. Servants were expected to be invisible so, once they had completed their jobs in a room, they would quietly exit through a jib door and use their own staircase. You will travel down this narrow winding staircase after you have visited the Gentleman’s Bedroom!

Find this object. What do you think it was used for?