Traveling is something I’ve always loved to do. With every trip I’ve been on I learned incredible new things. This trip however has taught me more about history, life, the human spirit, and different cultures than any other trip. I find different cultures, and world history fascinating so going to two cities that are rich with culture and history was amazing. One of my favorite things we saw were the exhibits that depict how people lived, how they survived and how different than us they were. It also interests me how differently people in London liven than people in Edinburgh. The streets in Edinburgh were close together and the houses we’re built up instead of out to provide more living spaces for the large quantity of people who occupied the town. Edinburgh today still has closes that remind you of the living conditions of the 17th and 18th century. During this trip we went to several places that let me peek into 18th century lifestyle. A common theme I found in these places were the extravagant social conventions.
One place in London I thought showed an interesting story was Soane house. Mr. Soane was a British architect. He would have been what you call today a hoarder. His house however was not messy, all of his things were arranged nicely. Some of his things looked like they were taken straight from Greece. To show off his fabulous things he would throw lavish parties. When he bought his sarcophagus which costs more than a year salary he threw a party to show it off and had many many people in this house, which was very crowded. He also had a very beautiful painting room. All four walls were covered in beautiful paintings. 2 of the walls you could open up to reveal another wall of paintings. If all that wasn’t enough to astound his guests you could open up the 2 nod wall to show his big reveal. Behind that 2nd wall was a room that contained of course more paintings but also a big sculpture in the middle of the room. Soane’s parties were extravagant and usually to show off his paintings or his new purchases.
Another place that we went to that showed us 18th century life was Georgian house in Edinburgh, Scotland. This house was owned by a wealthy man and his family. He didn’t really work but enjoyed his lavish lifestyle. His house was very large and was built out instead of up because they finally had room in the new town. In this time period there were many rules that came with living a wealthy lifestyle. Children could only be in two designated rooms in the house. Children also could not eat with their parents till they were 18. Of course the father picked their daughters husbend. The kitchen was in the basement along with the maids room. The kitchen was huge and had everything a person could need to cook an extravagant meal for a party. The people who lived in this house had parties all the time. Each party would have an enormous amount of food that took days for the cook to make. Once the guests arrived they sat down for their meal. After they were done eating the women would leave to go have tea and the men would take out the chamber pot to use now that the women were gone. Depending on how old the mans daughter was he would have a suitor come to the party to see if he would be a good match for the family. At the dance they would have later in the party more guests would arrive to dance.
Both cities had interesting lifestyles. It almost seems like People who lived in London lead better lives. At least the middle and lower classes. In Edinburgh the people lived in houses that were really crowded and close together. Several families lived in a room about as big as my garage. How is that for a party? Some families even had to live next to a room full of livestock. It’s no wonder that the middle class people of Edinburgh were hit badly with the plague. Edinburgh did build a new town so people would have more room but wealthier people and their maids lived there. London had to be rebuilt after a large fire. They rebuilt the city to look more modern that’s probably why they seemed to live healthier lives.
i really enjoyed going to Georgian house, gladstones land, Mary kings close, and Soane house because I got to see how they lived. Mary kings close was incredible to me because it showed me a side of humanity not seen very often. Those people lived in filth. They were infested with fleas and many of them died from the plague. Out tour guid told us that these people didn’t even complain. That was the life they lived and even though they did live in a lavish house and threw parties every week they still managed to find a way to be happy and live their lives. The guide also told us that when a family was hit with the plague that they would hang a white flag in the window and people would leave them food and ale. Even though they thought they could be infected going near the house people would help their neighbors.
Gladstones land was a wealthy mans house in old town Edinburgh. In the kitchen was the chamber pot and where the children were kept it’s no wonder that the plague spread as quickly as it did in the conditions they were living in. The rooms were pretty small and if you wanted to entertain guested in the house there wasn’t much room but the people who worked at the house told me that still threw parties. Their ceilings also had fruit painted on them. The lady that worked there said that they painted fruit that was expensive and that people could generally not afford so that the owner of the house could show off how wealthy they were. Even though the rooms were for wealthier people they did not even compare to the Georgian house. To even get up to your room you would have to go up a bunch of crowed stairs. It did not seem ideal compared to the lifestyle in new town however compared to Mary kings close it would have been a nice place to live