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Behind the Scenes -Having a Ball pt 2, by Maria Grace — 15 Comments

  1. Clueless Caroline. Delusional without a doubt. Just cannot accept that Darcy doesn’t want her as a wife. Organizing the Netherfield Ball for all the wrong reasons.

  2. I agree with Carol. Caroline is delusional and clueless. The only reason Darcy is agreeing with her is that he knows what it takes to pull an event such as a ball and that a discontented Caroline could ruin the whole event. Darcy also know this isn’t the time to economize, but with Charles’ reaction to the wine bill being so expensive I wonder if Caroline is regularly extravagant (I can see her being so). It seems to make sense that a good housekeeper would be expensive and a gem because she would have tricks up her sleeve and a lot of experience. I never considered that before.

    I never heard of chalking he floor before. What is the purpose? Thank you so much for such a wonderful missing scene. It was a fun read. I never considered how much went into planning a ball.

    • I envisioned it as Charles just having no idea what a ball would cost him.

      Chalking the floor was done to keep it from being too slippery while the dancers we dancing. The leather soles of the dancing slippers could be very slick on the wood floors. Even today I’ve had problems dancing without falling when the floors were too slippery.
      Thanks Deborah!

      • I guess it must be similar to why a ballerina chalks the toes of her skippers, then. I am sure, then that these chalkings must’ve been like works of art…possibly oohed and aahed over with each host trying to out do the other. Betting at White’s or Almac’s over them?

  3. The logistics of these events have always fascinated me. I should do some research on menus. I can just imagine the amount of food that is required for an elegant society ball. Thanks for this morsel for our consumption.

    • I am fascinated by the same things! I’ve planned big events, but always with the modern conveniences of a phone and computer and motor vehicles. Doing it without is mind blowing. I’ve read that 63 dishes would be typical for an event like this one. Imagine that in a kitchen with no electricity or gas or running water! Yikes!

  4. Such an interesting story. I really enjoy your prose and the history less woven in!

    And, of course, Caroline continues her unrealistic aspirations to be mistress of pemberly !

  5. Poor Caroline! I almost liked her until the part at the end about Mr. Darcy. Charles obviously has no clue what is needed for a ball “of the first water” so Mr. Darcy stepping in keeps everyone happy…especially Caroline.

    It’s nice to know that Caroline sees Mrs. Nicholls as “a treasure”–I loved the line about Charles balking at her salary while paying his valet quite handsomely. This story illustrates Charles’ cluelessness in running an estate (or even a home) and his ignorance would be understandably frustrating to a practical person such as Caroline.

    I’d hate to see Charles’ face when he sees the bill from the chandler(s)!! Beeswax candles are far superior, anyway. I often burn a candle when I work at my desk, and the normal paraffin candles drip and run and make a huge mess; it took me twenty minutes of scraping and scrubbing to get the wax runs from one candle off my wooden candle holder! But I used a beeswax candle this week, and there is not a single drip! And the smell–wonderful! No wonder they were vastly preferred over tallow (animal fat) candles before paraffin was used.

    Thanks for a lovely story–terrific research, Maria Grace!!

    Warmly,
    Susanne, who likes to write with a dip pen by candlelight…. 😉

  6. I am late to the discussion:

    First, to give Caroline her rightful due – she does seem to know what is required to manage a ball and she is giving the housekeeper her due. (At least, mentally.)

    Sadly for her this is not the reason for which Darcy will marry!

    And Charles, being from trade, should realize moving up into society is not going to be an economical move. Liked the note about how his valet was well paid so he did know that value to his appearance as he attempts to make inroads with the ton.

    Yes, she is right to buy beeswax – don’t want the candles dripping from the chandeliers onto the guests – imagine the burns?

    Interesting excerpt. Thank you.

    • Thank you. It is rather mind-boggling to think about what staging a ball like that would require. Even in a little town like Meryton, holding the social event of the season is a huge effort. Thanks, Sheila.

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