Sunday, 3 July 2016

Jane Austen: Vehicles: Gigs, Curricles, Phaetons and Barouches

Vehicles are occasionally mentioned in Jane Austen's novels.

A gig had two wheels and was drawn by a single horse. It was used by Mr. Collins and Sir Edward Denham.

Also having two wheels was the curricle, as driven by Willoughby, Henry Tilney and Tom Musgrave.

In the four-wheeled category came the phaeton, usually drawn by two horses. Miss de Bourgh travelled in one and Mrs. Gardiner fancied doing so once Elizabeth was married.

The barouche could take six passengers, four inside and two on the box. It had one hood.

The four-wheeled heavy barouche-landau, with double-hood and a box, was much admired by Mrs. Elton.

The speediest journey undertaken in any Jane Austen novel is that of Willoughby (to the sick Marianne).