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Old 11-04-2005, 04:07 PM
Sattua Sattua is offline
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Close to home
Posts: 9,830
I do not know the precise differences between many of these rooms, but I did once read that Jane Austen was the master of knowing which was which and implying lots of things about the characters that owned them, just by the names. Incidentally, in her books, the very large sitting rooms of very grand houses are sometimes called "saloons."

I think that a drawing room is a sitting room especially for ladies, and usually not on the ground floor. Its name does come from "withdrawing room," originally a sitting room separate from the main Hall in Elizabethan houses.

A sitting room did not have to be upper-class; it is simply the word for "living room" or "family room"--the room where people did everything.

A salon meaning a group of intellectuals who have nothing better to do than drink coffee and argue, and a salon meaning a kind of room, are different things. I suspect that a salon and a saloon are the same thing... but I will have to research it.

Finally, a parlor is, I believe, a low-class "gussied up" term for a sitting room. In Emma, Harriet says that her farmer friends have "two parlors... two very good parlors."

All of this is stated with reservation and without research--though I am DEFINITELY going to look into this!