BBC navigation

Having a ball! 200年前的人如何派对

更新时间 2013年 8月 19日, 星期一 - 格林尼治标准时间14:07
Enactment of a 19th century ball

Balls were opportunities to find a future husband.

Vocabulary: party 词汇: 派对,舞会

Are you a good dancer? We all know it's awkward not to be aware of the latest cool moves, but 200 years ago this could have meant social disaster!

A fictional ball from Jane Austin's 1813 novel "Pride and Prejudice" was recreated for a BBC programme. It showed the importance of dance for courtship.

At a time when physical contact was restricted and a chaperone was the order of the day in polite society, an invitation for a dance was one of the few opportunities for people to flirt with potential partners.

Amanda Vickery, professor of modern history at Queen Mary, University of London, says: "The ability to dance was key to romantic success. Clumsiness was sexual suicide."

Women with a bad memory could buy a fan which had the music and dance steps listed on the back. Men were more exposed on the dance floor.

But gentlemen of the Regency period were helped by fashion. Tailored jackets and trousers held up by braces forced them to walk upright and made them look elegant.

Ladies' dresses were handmade. The popular fabric of the time was muslin and there were rumours that women would have wet the fabric so that the outline of their figure could be seen beneath the dress.

Men and women would have arrived in their boots but these were a no-no on the dance floor. Everyone carried their dancing shoes, which looked like ballet shoes.

Hungry partygoers wouldn't be disappointed with the catering at a 19th century ball. They would replenish the energy lost from all that dancing with dishes like partridge pie and cheese ice cream.

The meal was an opportunity for the host to show his wealth and so was the lighting. Wax candles were very expensive 200 years ago. But they were really useful for a tired and sleepy host keen to see the last guest out. The size of the sticks determined the party's duration: 4 hours or 6 hours. As soon as the flames died out, he could just shut the door behind him and go out like a light.

Quiz 测验

1. Why were balls important occasions for single people?

Because there they could dance and flirt with potential partners.

2. Why were men who didn't know the dance more exposed than women?

Because women could buy a fan with the dance steps listed on the back.

3. What was not a good thing to wear on the dance floor?

Boots.

4. How could people know how long the party would last?

By the size of the candles.

5. Which expression means something that shouldn't be done?

A no-no.

Glossary 词汇表 (点击单词收听发音)

BBC © 2014 非本网站内容BBC概不负责

如欲取得最佳浏览效果,请使用最新的、使用串联样式表(CSS)的浏览器。虽然你可以使用目前的浏览器浏览网站,但是,你不能获得最佳视觉享受。请考虑使用最新版本的浏览器软件或在可能情况下让你的浏览器可以使用串联样式表。