A woman who is obsessed with pursuing her dream life of living like she’s in the 19th century has decided to shun the nine to five and live in a country mansion.
Jacqueline Brown, from St. Louis City, Missouri, had always assumed that after she graduated from university she would try and get the typical nine to five office job. Yet as she’s grown older, she’s decided to pursue her passion for the Victorian era and decided to take the opportunity of being a live-in caretaker of a 19th manor house when she came across the rare chance.
The 25-year-old has estimated that she has spent at least $5,000 on period clothing within the last three years. She says she enjoys spending her time showing the guests around the 1853 built Oakland House and she also tends to the property’s upkeep.
The graphic design student says that during her time at the manor house, she’s had a rethink of her ambitions and now wants to move to the home of Victorian’s themselves – Britain – so that she can work in a museum and dedicate her time to her favourite period in history.
She told Daily Mail: “Living in a Victorian mansion was never my original career plan, but it has allowed me the opportunity to live my dream.
“I’ve been the caretaker here for just under two years and I don’t want to leave.
“I’m in love with everything about the Victorian era. The clothing is my favourite thing. I love the shape of the dresses.
“I love that women were feminine and I love the romance of courtship. I try and dress in a historical way whatever I’m doing and I almost never wear trousers.
“Obviously I can’t go to out shopping in town in a ball gown dress, but I wear skirts every day and usually wear a hat influenced by the period.”
It wasn’t always the Victorian era that Jacqueline found herself interested in. When she began performing in historical reenactments she began to style herself based on the renaissance era.
When she began attending university, she took an interest in the Victorian era when she accidentally acquired a minor in history, as she had opted to do so many courses on the side all about the era.
Currently, Jacqueline has a collection of 20 Victorian dresses in her wardrobe and she says that bought most online or had them tailor-made for around $500 per garment. She says that some actually belong to the mansion where she works and as she is a caretaker there, she has been given permission to wear them.
The Oakland House was built in 1853 by Louis A Benoist, a French banker; the country estate had been built to avoid the cholera epidemic which was plaguing the nearby city of St. Louis, where is where the banker’s main residence was set.
Jacqueline said: “It’s not just the clothes from the Victorian period that I’m a fan of.
“I also love the fact that the Victorians had carriages instead of cars. I’m not a fan of cars and I would love to go around in a carriage.
“I like the designs from the period too and even before moving into the mansion all my bedding and curtains were Victorian-styled.
“I love the literature as well – particularly the Brontë sisters. Wuthering Heights is probably my favourite novel of all time.
“My sister is really into the 1970s and the 1960s and I used to go antiques shopping with her.
“I think that’s maybe where this all started.
“We both like old things but we’re at different points on the timeline.”
In other news, a woman has dedicated the past 15 years of her life to taking care of her ‘vegetative state’ father who had a stroke. She says that on average, she only gets around three hours of sleep a night but says that taking care of her father has been rewarding.