We have been going over the merits of the accomplished Lady these last few days. She has to be artistic and linguistic, but adding to that
A lady should have a basic knowledge of geography and history.
The idea behind this was multifold. On the surface it was a basis of polite conversation between the opposite sexes, it also elevated a woman who had a grasp of current affairs and politics by the nature of the history, and it proved one was culturally aware. Geography assists in understanding of history; the valuable natural materials, property nearby or further away, and other strategic locations. The theory of progression is each succeeding generation has more to remember and keep straight than our ancestors before us. A lady must understand roughly where the country is headed and how it got there.
I am a lifelong lover of history; a very specific history. My focus is on British Victoriana; however, I am expanding my reach to other ares of the world during the 1800s. What else was going on? How did it impact the seat of The Empire? How did it not impact Britain in any way? Albeit most of my fascination is fixated on the shiny, sparkly aspects of the era like fashion, jewelry, highly ornate furnishings and literature (alright, so literature is neither shiny nor sparkly; it is a more cerebral satisfaction).
Geography . . . I have less recall. This partially has to do with the shifting boundary lines, name changes, burgeoning countries and defeated ones . . . It is all a mess. To my credit, I have an easier time remembering the locations of large plots of land like countries and continents. However, there is a joke in my family I “could get lost in my closet with a compass and a map.” For being a daughter of an engineer, I did not come equipped with the spatial understanding gene. North is always the way I am facing and all roads are at right angles. Right? I know the main players; Canada, America, Mexico, United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, Andorra, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, India, Russia, China, Japan . . . I am sure there are others I am missing from the list. I just cannot seem to put my finger on it . . .