I have been reading Laying Down the Rails--with much enjoyment, I might add. I have a question about one of Charlotte's quotes from Vol. 1, p. 131, which states, "Nothing vulgar in the way of print, picture-book, or toy should be admitted [to the nursery]--nothing to vitiate a child's taste or introduce a strain of commonness into his nature."
I know word meanings change over the years, and especially throughout time from country to country. In Charlotte's day, what would've been considered "vulgar in the way of print, picture-book, or toy"?
In translation, what would you consider to be "vulgar" in today's time? I may be naive, but surely CM wasn't implying that parents in those days were giving their children perverted or lewd toys and books. Also, I'm positive the parents on this site do not allow any of those sorts of things into their homes either.
So, two questions:
1. What were "vulgar" toys and books in CM's day?
2. If CM were living now, what sorts of toys and books would she classify as "vulgar"?
I'm just really curious to know what this word meant then, and what word we might use instead now.