Wednesday 14 August 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday - Mansfield Park

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a lovely meme hosted by Bermuda Onion each week to highlight new (to us) words that we come across in our daily reading.

This week I'm rereading Mansfield Park for Austen in August with Adam and with Melissa from Avid Reader's Musings.

This week I have used the Free Dictionary for my definitions.

eclairissement  -  "Mr Rushworth had set off early with the great news for Sotherton; and she had fondly hoped for such an immediate eclaircissement as might save him the trouble of ever coming back again."

clarification; explanation; enlightenment.

menus plaisirs - "You would look rather blank, Henry, if your menus plaisirs were to be limited to seven hundred a year."

This phrase comes from the French royal palace.The Menus-Plaisirs du Roi was the department responsible for the  "lesser pleasures of the King", which meant in practice that it was in charge of all the preparations for ceremonies, events and festivities, down to the last detail of design and order.

negus - "creeping up the principal staircase, pursued by the ceaseless country-dance, feverish with hopes and fears, soup and negus, sore-footed and fatigued".

I found out about negus on a food and drink site. It was a popular party drink in Georgian and Victorian times containing port, lemon, boiling water, sugar and nutmeg.


  1. All of those words are new to me. I doubt I can throw them into a conversation but hopefully I'll remember them if I see them again.

  2. I love this post! I really want to try making Negus now. It actually sounds like a pretty tasty winter drink.

    1. Yes Melissa, I thought it sounded a little like mulled wine...and eminently drinkable :-D

  3. Anonymous15/8/13

    Negus does sound like a good drink.

  4. Wow. Now I feel intellectually small. Whew!

  5. Hi Brona,

    Oh Dear! My school day French has let me down yet again. The only one of your words I knew this week was 'eclairissement'.

    Negus does sound like a very warming drink for a winter's day, as you say, very much like mulled wine, although I should think the addition of nutmeg, would give it that extra little kick!

    If the 'menus plaisirs' was responsible for the events and ceremonies for the King and they were described as his 'lesser pleasures', I wonder just what constituted a 'moreish pleasure' and what the department was called that handled these events!!

    I loved the 'French connection' this week, thanks for sharing.


  6. Negus does sound fabulous, I could have done with one last night. Is the 700 for the menu-plaisirs meant to be pounds do you think? Like a food budget?

    1. I believe the 700 pounds referred to Edmund's yearly income when he becomes a curate!


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