I am currently doing a reread of Northanger Abbey, as I reread one Austen per year and NA’s time had come. I’ve only read it once before, but I thoroughly enjoyed it as a kind of ‘rough Austen.’ It was the first book she wrote, in 17…I don’t know, 98 or 93 or something, and no, the writing isn’t perfect, but I love Henry Tilney more than Mr Darcy because he’s funny, and it’s just a generally hilarious book.
Anyway, what I have most recently discovered is that, apparently, for rich 19th century dudes, tea sets were like…I dunno, stereo systems today. Wait, that’s probably more 1992. Ok, tea sets were like iPhones? I guess? Sure.
So the general, who is Henry Tilney’s father, starts talking to the heroine about his tea set and while talking about it informs her that “this was quite an old set, purchased two years ago. The manufacture was much improved since that time; he had seen some beautiful specimens when last in town, and had he not been perfectly without vanity of that kind, might have been tempted to order a new set.”
This is awesome. I cannot tell you how happy I am that dudes have always been stupid about technology. And that apparently, back in the day, tea sets became outdated about as quickly as laptops. Awesome.