Every so often something comes along that’s so obvious you can’t believe you never considered it before. Example: many years ago I was walking around the campus of the University of Washington and came upon a large statue of George Washington. Oh. That’s who the place (the whole state, in fact) is named after.

Today’s example: I’m reading an old Agatha Christie novel from the 1930s called Poirot Loses a Client (English title, Dumb Witness) when, in Chapter 8 (Roman chapter, VIII), the great Hercule Poirot is pretending to be interested in buying a house in the country. During a tour of the place he and his companion Captain Arthur Hastings are shown the drawing room, whereupon, Hastings writes, “The drawing-room conjured up memories of the past… The atmosphere of a bygone day, a day of leisure, of refinement, of ‘ladies and gentlemen’ closed round me. This was indeed a ‘withdrawing-room’.”

Oh. That’s why they’re called that.

About RPS

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