Gossip is one big 'thing' in the Period Drama world that has not gone out of fashion. But now we do it differently than the ladies do on our favourite screens. I will, dear readers, give you some tips on how to gossip like the Period Drama ladies do. Instead of spreading Prince-Harry-Emma-Watson rumours via Facebook or Twitter with hashtags and all that horrible modern poffle, you'll learn how to do it the good old way. :-)
So! You want to gossip. You can't gossip on your own and that's a fact. You need to be part of a gossip-clan. You need to have those friends you scurry to whenever you "accidentally" meet in town to get updated on.
First, to be part of a gossip clan, you have to be the right age. At least forty, I should say - that's when gossip get's to it's finest, because then the old ladies (who always know the most, you know) appreciate your company and divulge you into all their biggest secrets. So sorry girls, if you're far from forty - we will have to stick with the young folk, who don't know half as much as the older ones. But we'll get there ONE day, won't we?
Just, young folks never get the right end of the stick when it comes to gossip. Look at Emma Woodhouse, for instance - she gossiped loads but got everything wrong, right? No, we just have to wait to do it the right way.
Wearing big hats, you know, is a no brainer - feathers are a good sign to show that you're there, brimmed with news. Two feathers is even better.
Lace caps are a no brainer too - but make sure you don't wear two over each other. Never walk out of the house without a hat - no, seriously. You always have to wear several layers over your head if you want to be part of the gossipers. You have to be able to whisper secrets under the shadows of all the bonnets; oh yes, quite important, that. But if you see someone going out without a hat - why now, that's an entirely different matter. Then you have to pretend (well, of course, you ARE) to be really shocked and go in a flurry and tell all the people in your gossip clan as quickly as possible, whispering that the said hatless lady really is walking down the wrong path in life.
Your fellow gossipers will be open-eyed listeners, of course, always.
The gossip clan should come together with great frequency, for there is always big news looming on the horizon, like, every minute there's new news. Of great importance. That, like HAS to be told. So you have to meet up with fellow gossipers in all kinds of circumstances. During a ball, why you'll meet up. And if you're playing whist, you won't really play whist, you'll talk about the very shocking latest bit of news. And you'll meet on the road. People won't realise you're gossiping, of course, because you're SO good at keeping stuff secretive, AREN'T you.
If I had to sum the rules of gossip in two words, it would be these: ALWAYS EXAGGERATE. If you don't, gossip wouldn't exist. Exaggerating isn't lying, it's just explaining situations with more gusto than the boring folks. You have to accentuate points and put two-in-two together. You have to tell you friends what happened in an exaggerated way. Because that's how you make the news sound interesting, right? For instance, something like this might happen:
You overhear two young girls in a glove shop. One, let's say Jane, says, 'I'll buy the red pair. Pa did tell me to be careful with my money, but I do so love them.'
AH. That MEANS that Jane is rebellious towards her father (the red pair of gloves was, you know via experience, one of the most costly ones in the shop) and that, of course, explains why Jane wouldn't go to the charity ball her father had organised! Jane is a rebellious daughter. You can go and tell you friends that. It's a HUGE piece of news.
And if there is no particular news around, you simply have to MAKE news by matchmaking. Really. During balls this is easy, you stand at the sides with your friends, and comment on how good this and that looks with this and that and how nice a couple they make and how well they compliment each other. If you have friends over - single and of marriageable age - you simply have to find out whether they are attached somewhere or not. If they are silent, pester the younger sister with questions. Twiddle it out. (And if it really doesn't work, bribe with olives. That's irresistible, you know. A cure for everything.)
If you see two people holding hands, they are engaged. Just, that's how things work. If you see a girl smiling more than three times to a man across the room in one hour, that means that they have a secret love relationship. If there's a girl who flirts with all the men in the room but one, it means the man who she isn't flirting with is in love with the girl. You have to learn the tricks. :-)
Oh, and everything is shocking. Make every bit of news something big. Take your chance and make it a dramatic, upholstering scene. Open your mouth and your eyes and your ears. If you're good at fainting on the spot, DO it, seriously, you have to. God didn't gift you with the talent for nothing, you know. Yell for smelling salts, make a SCENE. Because that will give you something more to gossip about the days afterwards.
I hope this helps. :-) And I hope you enjoyed the post, girls. :-)
Oh, by the way, have you heard that Romola Garai is going to be in the sixth season of Downton Abbey? As the undercook? I'm SOOOO excited about that. Like, SO. And don't worry, it's official as official can be - not just a rumour. ROMOLA GARAI in DOWNTON. Squeeeeee.