Have you ever wondered whether people in Regency times would have considered you to be a well-educated woman? If you have, I’ve created a little quiz to help you judge yourself. It’s based on a conversation among the Bingleys, Darcy, and Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice about what it takes for a woman to become accomplished.
- How would you describe your artistic abilities?
- My friend could use the portrait I painted of her as her profile picture on Facebook.
- My parents still have my art framed and hanging on the wall.
- I’m pretty good at stick figures.
- How would you describe your sewing skills?
- I’m always working on an embroidery project.
- I keep up with my mending.
- I haven’t touched a sewing needle in years.
- Do you like to sing?
- Yes, and others like to hear me sing.
- Yes, but others don’t like to hear me sing.
- Do you play an instrument?
- Yes, and I practice regularly.
- Yes, but I haven’t practiced for a while.
- Do you speak a foreign language?
- Yes, I speak French (or Italian.)
- Yes, but I speak something other than French or Italian.
- Do you dance?
- Yes, I love a good English country dance (or ballroom).
- I can get by in Zumba.
- What are your reading habits?
- I read widely and regularly.
- I read popular novels.
- I usually watch the movie instead of reading the book.
Now, give yourself 2 points for every A, 1 for every B, and 0 for every C.
14-10 points–The other ladies had better watch out. You are marriage material. You’re as accomplished as Jane Fairfax, Marianne Dashwood, Anne Elliot, and Mary Bennet.
9-5 points–Don’t be discouraged. You’re as accomplished as Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Bennet, and Emma Woodhouse. Once you find your man, you’ll know he loves you for your mind.
5-0 points–Let’s face it, you probably wouldn’t be considered accomplished during the Regency Era, but that’s okay, because neither were Catherine Morland, Lydia Bennet, and Harriet Smith. There’s something to be said for having a great personality. Also, bear in mind that Jane Austen considered these standards to be quite silly. She placed much more value on improving her mind than in some of the other skills.
Personally, I squeaked by with a 9, which means I’m in the same category as Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse. How did you do?