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General Info about 19th Century Transportation

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 10 months ago

 19th Century French Transportation

 


 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

At the start of the 19th century, the most prevalent mode of transportation was the horse and carriage.  Towards the end of the century, railways came about and greatly improved people's lives when it comes to how far and how fast they can go. In 19th century France, until the beginning of the 20th century people still relied heavily upon hoses and carriages for their transportation needs.

 

Road conditions as described in the novel

 

People in 19th century France experienced horrendous road conditions and this really bad infrastructure made it extremely difficult to move around. Passages in the novel such as the following  reveal the difficult task it was back then for both people and vehicles in those localities to get around from one point to another:

 

    To reach the wet nurse's house they had to turn left at the end of the village street, as though going to the cemetery, and follow a narrow path that led them past cottages

    and yards between privet hedges.  These were in bloom, and blooming, too, were veronicas and wild roses and nettles and the wild blackberries that thrust out their

    slender sprays from the thickets.  Through holes in the hedges they could see, in the farmyards, a pig on a manure pile or cows in wooden collars rubbing their horns against

    tree trunks.  The two of them walked on slowly side by side, she leaning on his arm and he shortening his step to match hers.  In front of them hovered a swarm of flies,

    buzzing in the warm air. (page#)

 

This other passage also illustrates the treacherous road conditions in those localities:

 

    In one spot the ground was boggy from the trampling of cattle, and they had to walk on large green stones that had been laid in the mud.  She kept stopping to

    see where to place her foot, and teetering on an unsteady stone, her arms lifted, her body bent, a hesitant look in her eye, she laughed, fearing lest she fall into the puddles. (page #)

 

Stones laying everywhere and unpaved roads certainly make a recipe for a very uncomfortable walk or carriage ride.

 

19th century vehicles found in the novel

 

The following is a summary of the types of vehicles  used for locomotion in the 19th century found in the book. To get more information on the vehicles, please click on their names.

 

The Barouche, Buggy, Chaise, Charabanc, Horse, Landau, One-horse shay, Old Gig, Tilbury, Van, and Wagon are all vehicles that are used to transport people in most cases.

 

The Coach and Stagecoach were used as public transportation and to carry goods.

 

As some passages point out, the Farmcart was used to both carry goods and to carry low-class people in some instances.

 

All the afore-mentioned vehicles vary in the number of horses that pull them and their body shape.

 

References

 

http://en.wikipedia.com

 

http://www.literary-liaisons.com/article033.html

 

 

 

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