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went up the water Options
FROSTY X RIME
Posted: Monday, February 26, 2018 10:10:45 AM

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Hello everybody,

I have stumbled on the sentence "who went up the water twice a week in the season" while reading the short story "Horatio Sparkins" in the book "Sketches by Boz" by Charles Dickens and wonder what it means. The story is about Malderton family who are the best example of the upstart snobs. They have grown taste for upper class fashion and approve of such a thing only and look down on and detest the lower-class culture and eager to make friends with high-class people only. (I have added this so that you will grasp the context.)

I will copy a paragraph where it sits as below:

Quote:
Even Mr Frederick Malderton himself, the family authority on all points of taste, dress, and fashionable arrangements-who had lodgings of his own in town, who had a free admission to Covent-garden theatre, who always dressed according to the fashions of the months, who went up the water twice a week in the season, and who actually had an intimate friend who once knew a gentleman who formerly lived in the Albany,-even he had determined that Mr Horatio Sparkins must be a devilish good fellow, and that he would do him the honor of challenging him to a game of billiards.



**Mr Horatio Sparkins is a mysterious young man who the Maldertons family want to include in their society because he has exhibited his high-society culture and manners in his speech, his clothes, etc.





What should be shall be-The fellowship of the ring-
alertec
Posted: Monday, February 26, 2018 12:11:08 PM
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Purely a guess ... people went to "the water (or waters" i.e. a spa, for therapeutic reasons. This was an upperclass occupation, the working class could not afford the time (or the expense!)Again, I'm just guessing.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Monday, February 26, 2018 12:25:46 PM

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Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
I think that "who went up the water" in this context might mean " who travelled along the River Thames from the Eastern part of London to the fashionable Western part."

Much of Charies Dickens works are set in and around London for many people living in that area "the water" would be the Thames.
The Eastern part of London is the less salubrious one where tradionally people with a lower income lived and the Western part is where the rich people live and has places such as the Palace of Westminister, the Opera House and the Theatres in it. Even today people talk of the Eastend of London and the Westend, and might talk of "going up to the Westend" .

Edit: I forgot the original quote mentions that he " went up the water" during the season this,changes my interpretation slightly, " The Season" is a number of events that occur in Summertime in England that the upper classes frequent, many of which occur even further along the Thames than I first suggested. Royal Ascot, Henley Regatta etc are all part of this series of events and would be easily accessed by travelling west along the River Thames from London. It suggests he is someone that spends times at such events.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
FROSTY X RIME
Posted: Monday, February 26, 2018 2:35:16 PM

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Wow, absolutely super! Applause Applause Applause
Thank you for your fabulous explanation, Sarriesfan!
It's very kind of you.

[added]hello alert, I just missed out yours earlier. thanks for your considering the matter.



What should be shall be-The fellowship of the ring-
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, February 26, 2018 4:06:26 PM

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Both explanations are logical, but I feel Sarrriesfan takes the prize here.

"Taking the waters" had various locations, and many of them would not mean going up (Bath is probably considered 'down' from London - and Tunbridge Wells and Brighton are almost due south - definitely 'down' from London).

The East End of the Thames was (not so much now) where the trading and naval docks were with all the nasty, lower-class sailors and market traders.
Going up the Thames would reach a few more middle-class areas (and the 'Royal' peirs) and going further would take you to Windsor (where the Royal Family actually live a lot of the time), Eton, Henley and Oxford - all "upper-class" areas.



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
thar
Posted: Monday, February 26, 2018 4:29:03 PM

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But would you go up the Thames, given the choice?

In most of Dickens' time Bazalgette's sewers weren't built, so there was still the Great Stink. And judging by the characters he writes around the river, you'd as soon be drowned as ferried!
A nice comfy hackney carriage would do the trip much better....?
Think
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Monday, February 26, 2018 4:47:20 PM

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Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
thar wrote:
But would you go up the Thames, given the choice?

In most of Dickens' time Bazalgette's sewers weren't built, so there was still the Great Stink. And judging by the characters he writes around the river, you'd as soon be drowned as ferried!
A nice comfy hackney carriage would do the trip much better....?
Think


Given the state roads were in at the time I still think river transport may have been preferable to the road.
From the London Transport Museum website on travel,in the Victorian period.
https://www.ltmuseum.co.uk/collections/collections-online/information/item/2008-1998
Quote:
Travelling by short stage or hackney coach was expensive and could only be afforded by the better off, the most wealthy of whom owned their own carriages. Another key route was the river, where traffic continued as it had for centuries. Wherry boats or river taxis could be hailed from various parts of the riverbank.


I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, February 26, 2018 8:10:29 PM

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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
Quote:
But would you go up the Thames, given the choice?

In Dickens' time, London (the conurbation) was much smaller.

By the time one reached Kingston-upon-Thames and Hampton Court, one would be out of the built-up areas.

The sewer program designed to handle The Great Stink ended at 'Ammersmiff. The waters higher up the river were relatively unaffected by the masses of people in the city.




Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
FROSTY X RIME
Posted: Tuesday, February 27, 2018 12:17:26 PM

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Joined: 10/20/2015
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Thank you all, Drag0n, Sarries,thar for sharing your profound knowledge with me.
Absolutely super!
^_^

What should be shall be-The fellowship of the ring-
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