I like the stockings also very much, and greatly prefer having two pair only of that quality to three of an inferior sort. Jane Austen to Cassandra October 26, 1800 Caring for her own clothes would not have been the concern of a wealthy woman such as Eliza de Feuillide, who had her own maid, but for a poor relation like Jane Austen, it was a time consuming task. Not the actual washing, necessarily, but certainly the details pertaining to it. While visiting Henry and Eliza in Hans Place, Jane felt it much cheaper and easier to send her clothes home to Chawton for washing, than to bother the staff with such details. Her letter to Cassandra on November 26, 1815, perfectly describes her situation: The parcel arrived safely, and I am much obliged to you for your trouble. It cost 2s. 10d., but, as there is a certain saving of 2s. 4 1/2d. on the other side, I am sure it is well worth doing. I send four pair of silk stockings, but I do not want them washed at present. In the three neck-handkerchiefs I include the one sent down before. These things, perhaps, Edwd. may be able to bring, but even if he is not, I am extremely pleased with his returning to you from Steventon. It is much better; far preferable. Silk stockings were expensive, and while cotton or wool stockings would suffice for everyday, only the finest would do for special occaions and balls. Perhaps
Become a Jane Austen Member
Membership is completely free….
- A welcome 10% off voucher to spend in our giftshop
- Full access to our online magazine of articles about Jane Austen
- Regular new stories
- Giftshop special offers and new products
- Our very popular an entertaining quiz