Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Palace or Plantation

For those of us who read romance novels on a regular basis, or even enjoy the historical mysteries that are their counterparts, you have likely dreamt of spending your days surrounded by the unmistakable granduar that pervaded the noble homes of the 19th century. But have you ever stopped to consider which brand of oppulance you would prefer? In England they had their palaces and in America they had their plantations. It goes without saying, none of these upper echelon individuals ever wanted for anything, the luxuries and traditions they enjoyed were tailored to the preferences of each specific group. 
The homes of the period serve as an ideal example of these variants. In England palaces stretched far into the sky, often four to five stories in height. Inside these massive homes, it not uncommon for rooms to be custom painted with serene murals depicting scenes from Greek mythology, their edges defined by gilt trim. The plantations that dotted America's deep south, though as lovely, emitted a far homier feel. Deep hues replaced the light pastels that were the norm in England, lending a welcoming warmth to the rooms and tall Grecian columns lined the veranda. Men and women alike spent countless hours beneath these columns drinking tea and conversing with acquaintances. 
From the family hierarchy to the staff, the roles were similarly defined- men the head of the household and women their inferiors. This said one must stop to consider that by the standards of the time American women were considered brazen in their freedoms. They were allowed a little more room to voice their opinions, even if they were expected to stay within a very straight line. In exchange for this privilege, the ladies of England were treated like delicate china dolls. Servants rushed to meet their slightest desire and society's expectations were few. Men of the period didn't differ much in their role. Like the ladies of the time however, American men exchanged hard work for a far more relaxed social atmosphere than the one enjoyed by the gnerational nobles of the English ton. Now that you have a good idea of these differences, may I ask, which would you choose?