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What would you call a parlor in a farm house?

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Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

What would you call a parlor in a farm house?

Postby Divia » Sun August 31st, 2008, 8:57 pm

So I'm writing a novel (first draft done YAY) and the story takes place in 1900. Now, these are farming folks and I have no idea what they would call the living room. Would they call it a parlor? That just seems upscale for someone who is a farmer.

Suggestions?
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Susan
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Location: New Jersey, USA

Postby Susan » Sun August 31st, 2008, 9:08 pm

"Divia" wrote:So I'm writing a novel (first draft done YAY) and the story takes place in 1900. Now, these are farming folks and I have no idea what they would call the living room. Would they call it a parlor? That just seems upscale for someone who is a farmer.

Suggestions?


I found a website that has floor plans for an 1847 farmhouse and there is a parlor on the first floor: http://architecture.about.com/od/preservation/ss/howardplan.htm
~Susan~
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Susan
Bibliomaniac
Location: New Jersey, USA

Postby Susan » Sun August 31st, 2008, 9:15 pm

Here's something else that may be helpful...sitting room is another possibility.

City Parlor, Country Sitting Room
~Susan~
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diamondlil
Bibliomaniac

Postby diamondlil » Sun August 31st, 2008, 9:25 pm

Part of it might depend on what kind of people that your characters are. If they are a bit uppity they may still call that room a parlour even though they are not quite of the class that would normally use that kind of name.

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Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Sun August 31st, 2008, 10:08 pm

The characters house is based off of mine which was built in 1850. The house with the floor plans that Susan showed is far too large and grand for this family. These characters are not so well off. I like the idea of a sitting room though. :) Uppity the characters are but they are rather hickish, although the mother may call it a parlor because she does like proper manners.

Sweet, now I know what to call it.

Thanks! :)
Last edited by Divia on Sun August 31st, 2008, 10:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sun August 31st, 2008, 10:21 pm

In the little house books, they call it a parlor, even though they are poor settlers. Pa explains that when they have more than a one-room shanty, they will have a room to sleep in, which is the bed room, and a room to eat in, the dining room, and a room in named from the French 'Parler', to talk, so in the parlor, they will talk.

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Divia
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Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Mon September 1st, 2008, 12:40 am

hmm interesting.

Well that throws a monkey wrench into the works.
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Evangeline H
Scribbler

Postby Evangeline H » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 5:47 am

It would always be called a parlor if the book is set in America, unless the people are upper-class Americans (e.g.;the 400 of NY), which is when it would be called a drawing room.
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Alaric
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Location: Adelaide, Australia.
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Postby Alaric » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 6:14 am

In Europe it would always be called a drawing room. At least, most of the translations of Dostoevsky's The Idiot, which has plenty of scenes in drawing rooms, calls them that.

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Vanessa
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Currently reading: The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola & Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager(Pigeonhole)
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favorite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Postby Vanessa » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 9:19 am

Ah, in the UK the drawing room was always the 'posh' room on the first floor, the kitchen being in the basement. I would have thought parlour or sitting room was the right word for a farmhouse.
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