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01 November 2011

Phaeton

Remember that 1995 Sense and Sensibility scene in which dashing Mr. Willoughby recklessly drives a phaeton around town with Marianne Dashwood? The novel was published in 1811.  Fast drag your imagination to 2011 and the two lovers are today's rich hunk and a happy-go-lucky, attractive chick speeding on say, a Lamborghini Reventon.

In Pride and Prejudice, obsequious Mr Collin declares, "she (Lady Catherine de Bough) is perfectly amiable, and often condescends to drive by my humble abode in her little phaeton and ponies."

pha·e·ton  (f-tn)
n.1. A light, four-wheeled open carriage, usually drawn by a pair of horses.
   2. A touring car. ( The Free Dictionary)



Two ladies in a high perch phaeton. The owners of these sporty, open-air and lightning fast carriages actually drove the vehicle, as there was no place for a coachman. Phaeton seats were built high off the ground, the sides of the vehicle were open to the elements (a top could be pulled over as a screen from sun or rain), and the back wheels were larger than the front wheels.  However, these light, airy, well-sprung vehicles were prone to tipping over when turning around corners too fast, thus a driver had to be skilled in order to move at high speed. The phaeton, therefore, was extremely popular with the rakish set. (Vic, Jane Austen's World)
This post is linked with ABC Wednesday.

12 comments:

  1. Great post and a good blog to get my brain in gear this morning.
    This is a new word for me. Wonder how I can fit it into conversation today?

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  2. Those things looks slightly ridiculous and I'm not surprised they were prone to simply tipping over (the name seems to indicate that the inventors knew it as well).

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  3. Quaint, but must have been very popular in that era!! :)

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  4. those wild and crazy kids! fun

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  5. A perfectly aPt post for today! I really enjoyed reading about this kind of carriage and do remember them careening about! Love your analogy, too!

    Leslie
    abcw team

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  6. this was such a great post - loved it

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  7. The sports carriage of the past. Nice.

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  8. Fantastic post for P day. I love the illustration and what a great P word.

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  9. Looks definitively better than driving in my car !

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  10. And I thought a carriage was just a carriage! Neat post.

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  11. Hands down ako sa coices of words mo sis, greAT post.

    Join ka nostalgia uli.. mwah!

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