I’ve decided to start blogging more. I know, it’s rather shocking and a bit overwhelming, but I can do this. One thing that came to mind as I began to consider possible topics for my Regency readers was interesting things they did then that we don’t do now.
It was popular during the summer months for the wealthy, Elite, or Ton as they were known to go to various parties. One of these societal adventures was called a Rout. It sounds like it would be great good fun but there was little purpose to a Rout except to see and be seen.
The ton would spend hours getting themselves ready for the Rout, then sit in a closed carriage for more hours waiting in line to make their appearance at the front gates, only to stand in line on a long and sometimes winding staircase to greet the host and hostess for a time frame of no less than two hours. The cardinal rule of a Rout: No refreshments were served.
After the greeting was done, a simple head nod, hand shake or kiss on the top of the hand from the host to the ladies, the process would start all over. The guest would then turn and head back down a crowded staircase, where one awaited the carriage to be returned to them in the stifling heat of a summer day.
A Rout was considered a ‘success’ if one or more of the ladies fainted during the course of the ordeal of meeting the host and hostess. In theory this seems like a colossal waste of a good day but it was the accepted way for anxious mama’s to ‘debut’ their daughters before the ‘Season’ began. In this manner a daughter could make her ‘come out’ which is the time in a young ladies life to be introduced to polite society and become a member of the ton.
I can only be grateful that we no longer have to ride in carriages but we get air conditioned vehicles and water bottles!