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  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 the room was called a ‘jib’ door and used by servants. You would have come through it unless visiting at Christmas, when you can see it in the far corner of the room. Servants were expected to be invisible so these doors led to their very own staircases!

The Jib Door

  Find this object. What was this object used for?

This is a wig scratcher. In Georgian times it was very stylish for both women and men to wear big wigs. Women would often style their wigs to be as tall as possible, using wax or fat to thicken the hair and white powder to colour it. This meant that people often got headlice, so a long wig scratcher like this one could reach through the wig and scratch that annoying itch!

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