Curricles and dashing young men

“Chickenheart,” Jason scoffed. “If you mean to abandon your sister to her fate I can escort her. Lancings is only a few miles outside my way, and I can very easily detour round to take her with me if she doesn’t mind driving in a curricle.”  (Recompromising Amanda)








Curricles were a kind of two-wheeled, light, open carriage that were generally pulled by two horses. They were meant to carry two people at most unless no one minded being badly squeezed together.  They came into existence in the mid eighteenth century and the name comes from the Latin curriculum, which means course or racing chariot. They were extremely fashionable, extremely expensive (some were more than £100, much more than the wages of female domestic servant, for example, which could be as low as £2 a year) and not particularly comfortable.

In other words, they were the Regency equivalent of a modern convertible sports car – great for roaring around in and impressing everyone with how dashing you are (they even had a special place to store your sword). No wonder every wealthy London male worthy of his salt wanted one. Naturally Jason, Lord Greyshott, would have one and being the perfect gentleman he would automatically enquire whether a young lady of quality is up for travelling in one through the countryside for several hours. She would normally travel in a closed or better sprung carriage, which would be better for both her complexion and her comfort.

Alas for the curricle, a few years after Jason took Amanda for a ride cabriolets were introduced to society and immediately became the most elegant, most fashionable, most must-have carriage. I’m sure Jason was one of the first purchasers.


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2 Responses to Curricles and dashing young men

  1. Nice! Now what’s a cabriolet??


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