I love certain eras of the past. My ideas and views of those times are possibly not all that accurate. I am probably very influenced by fiction books! Not always the most reliable of resources.
I always imagined myself as a servant or a governess. After all, I am not upper class now so I wouldn't have been some haughty lady living in a huge house and employing many staff to cater for my every whim. No, I would have been the little maid running about trying to get the fires lit at dawn. Shivering and scurrying! I imagined plain dresses and attic rooms. Trying to be inconspicuous and almost blending in with the furniture.
I didn't dream of fancy dresses and parties but of kitchen pots to be scrubbed and clothes to be mended. A little strange I am sure as most people seem to imagine being rich and living the high life in the past. Looking into my family tree most of my ancestors were farmers or tenant farmers. There are servants and dress makers and velvet cutters but no society ladies. I wouldn't have had gleaming hair and soft white hands!
I loved the character of Polly in An Old-Fashioned Girl even though she set such a high standard! This is a book that I read over and over. I related to Polly as I am a bit of a country mouse myself!
It was a very humble little room, but Polly had done her best to make it pleasant, and it already had a homelike look, with the cheery fire and the household pets chirping and purring confidingly on the rug.
"This will be a country supper, girls," said Polly, bustling about. "Here is real cream, brown bread, home-made cake, and honey from my own beehives."
"Things worry me sometimes, but I just catch up a broom and sweep, or wash hard, or walk, or go at something with all my might, and I usually find that by the time I get through the worry is gone, or I've got courage enough to bear it without grumbling," answered Polly.
"A little bit of poverty would do you good, Fan, just enough necessity to keep you busy till you find how good work is, and when you once learn that, you won't complain of ennui any more," returned Polly, who had taken kindly the hard lesson which twenty years of cheerful poverty had taught her.
Quotes from An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott.
I am fascinated by frontier living of the pioneers and Victorian maid servants and the farmer's wife in pretty much any era! Obviously, I have a rose tinted view of the past as I am sure that cheerful poverty would have been very hard to maintain over weeks, months and years. Knitting and growing vegetables wouldn't have been a hobby then, but would have been essential skills that were depended on.