The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

12 January 2009


I'm still inside a Forster/James novel. Of course that's true only in my mind - I haven't found a way to bring books to life. What I'd like even better, I think, is being able to transport certain elements of those novels into real life.

Regardless the seamy underbelly of society at the time, what was presented for public consumption was polite and clean and dignified. Yes, it may have been for show, it may have been false, but you could certainly go out in public with children and not worry overly much for their spiritual and emotional innocence. Women were guarded from unpleasant men because it was not accepted behaviour to be 'fresh' with a lady. It was possible to conduct yourself well in public because manners and expectations were taught. How to address a person, or conduct yourself in any situation were not unknown factors, and you would know what to say, what was allowed and so on, eliminating awkwardness and discomfort.

The corset may have been a constriction, but it did provide sound support. So too, while social rules and expectations may have been restrictive, they provided structure for public life. I think we may be lacking a little of that today.


  1. I agree. I am going to go and buy a corset right now. Thanks !

  2. Well, you know, I was laughing about it to myself as I wrote it, because I am not (as you know) a long-skirt wearing kind of girl. But I've been doing some reading, and apparently corsets can be quite comfortable! They don't have to be all pinchy and hard-to-breathy, but do in fact provide good support for the back, which is relaxing. Who knew?
    I am opposed to inner wear as outer wear; I think regardless the size and shape of the body, clothes are not meant to reveal the one wearing them; I believe that modesty protects the dignity of the person being modest and the ones beholding the modest - but also that modesty doesn't automatically equal denim jumpers and long limp hair. And I do believe that clothing, (and therefore modesty) and manners are tied together. We needn't be pinched, but surely we also needn't let it all hang out? So what's the answer, I wonder? Hmmmm...

  3. I don't know the answer, per se...but I might suggest that whatever the clothing choice, it must not be DIAPHENOUS! Or any lower than 2 fingers below the collar bone. Period.
    No, but seriously, I agree wholeheartedly. Oh, and denim jumpers and long limp hair (well put) are NOT the answers. :-)