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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Phaeton

Remember that 1995 Sense and Sensibility scene in which dashing Mr. Willoughby recklessly drives a phaeton around town with Marianne Dashwood? The novel was published in 1811.  Fast drag your imagination to 2011 and the two lovers are today's rich hunk and a happy-go-lucky, attractive chick speeding on say, a Lamborghini Reventon.

In Pride and Prejudice, obsequious Mr Collin declares, "she (Lady Catherine de Bough) is perfectly amiable, and often condescends to drive by my humble abode in her little phaeton and ponies."

pha·e·ton  (f-tn)
n.1. A light, four-wheeled open carriage, usually drawn by a pair of horses.
   2. A touring car. ( The Free Dictionary)



Two ladies in a high perch phaeton. The owners of these sporty, open-air and lightning fast carriages actually drove the vehicle, as there was no place for a coachman. Phaeton seats were built high off the ground, the sides of the vehicle were open to the elements (a top could be pulled over as a screen from sun or rain), and the back wheels were larger than the front wheels.  However, these light, airy, well-sprung vehicles were prone to tipping over when turning around corners too fast, thus a driver had to be skilled in order to move at high speed. The phaeton, therefore, was extremely popular with the rakish set. (Vic, Jane Austen's World)
This post is linked with ABC Wednesday.

12 comments:

photowannabe said...

Great post and a good blog to get my brain in gear this morning.
This is a new word for me. Wonder how I can fit it into conversation today?

Jedediah said...

Those things looks slightly ridiculous and I'm not surprised they were prone to simply tipping over (the name seems to indicate that the inventors knew it as well).

Nanka said...

Quaint, but must have been very popular in that era!! :)

Roger Owen Green said...

those wild and crazy kids! fun

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Leslie: said...

A perfectly aPt post for today! I really enjoyed reading about this kind of carriage and do remember them careening about! Love your analogy, too!

Leslie
abcw team

Jo Bryant said...

this was such a great post - loved it

anthonynorth said...

The sports carriage of the past. Nice.

Rajesh said...

Wonderful choice.

Carver said...

Fantastic post for P day. I love the illustration and what a great P word.

Gattina said...

Looks definitively better than driving in my car !

Meryl Jaffe, PhD said...

And I thought a carriage was just a carriage! Neat post.

chubskulit said...

Hands down ako sa coices of words mo sis, greAT post.

Join ka nostalgia uli.. mwah!