*– Tommy Cooper
From: Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726):
“…This man was a most ingenious artist, and according to my direction, in three weeks finished for me a wooden chamber of sixteen feet square, and twelve high, with sash-windows, a door, and two closets, like a London bed-chamber…”
Julianne M. Karey wrote of “…the hermeneutics of the body in Laurence Sterne’s “Tristram Shandy”(1759-67)“ in Summer 2009:
“…This accident with the falling sash as Tristram is peeing out the window is a source of confusion among Tristram’s family and readers alike…”
Regina Jeffers posted at Every Woman Dreams…on 23.10.20:
“…You may remember that, in Emma (1816), Mrs and Miss Bates occupy very modest dwellings in a brick house in Highbury. This is what Austen tells us about the place they call home:
The house belonged to people in business. Mrs. and Miss Bates occupied the drawing-room floor; and there, in the very moderately-sized apartment, which was everything to them, the visitors were most cordially and even gratefully welcomed.
Chapter 1, Emma
Later, in the letter from Frank Churchill to Mrs Weston, we read that the house has “sashed windows below, and casements above.” That is, sash windows on the ground floor and casements on the first floor, where the Bates ladies live. It’s an unremarkable mention, until you understand the context of windows during the Regency period.
Sash windows consist of one or more panels assisted by weights, springs and pulleys hidden in the window frame that slide vertically to create openings. An innovation linked to improved glass manufacturing methods, the elegant proportions of sash windows were the perfect architectural feature for the new tastes of the Georgian era.
Such windows also provided better light levels and improved ventilation and were much easier to use. As a result, sash windows became very fashionable and replaced the older casement windows in most buildings. And therein lies the tiny detail that speaks of the Bates’ precarious financial situation.
With just a few words, Austen informs us that the “people in business” that own the building have upgraded the ground-floor windows, but have not bothered to replace the windows on the floor above…”