View Full Version : Reading in Carriages

06-04-2005, 07:05 AM
Question for a fantasy story. Assuming Roman Empire-quality roads, and carriages of no more sophistication than 1700 at the latest, would it be possible for someone to read a book in a carriage travelling at a moderate pace? How about reading out loud? Thanks for any info!

06-04-2005, 08:55 PM
I've never tried to read in a carriage, but I've ridden in them several times at various places that re-enact historical periods for the entertainment and education of modern people. Even carriages with springs (were they around by the 1700s?) jolt and bounce on all but the newest asphalt-paved roads. On brick (which heaves in winter), cobblestone, gravel, or packed dirt, I wouldn't think a person could read.

Depending on who's in the carriage and why you'd like them to read, might reciting work?


06-05-2005, 06:58 AM
I'm not an expert on either the Roman Empire or carriages, but common sense suggests that it would be extremely difficult to read more than a few words with all that jolting & bumping going on. And, depending on the type of carriage, would there even be enough light by which to read a book?

One would have to have a damn good reason -- emergency of some sort -- to attempt to read a book under those circumstances, I would think.

Tish Davidson
06-05-2005, 10:54 PM
There is a high degree of probablity that the reader would become motion sick because of the conflicting sensation of movement of the carriage and the need to look at a stationary page to read.

06-07-2005, 12:57 AM
Consider, too, the probability that the text (assuming typesetting) would not be as regular as modern readers are used to, and that the size of the text would likely be small.