The picture below is of the kitchen in Jane Austen’s Chawton Cottage. I look at it and immediately think longingly of my microwave. I guess it’s a good thing I can’t travel back in time. I might be a real whiner (“What do you mean dinner will take three hours to cook?” — and don’t get me started on the lack of toothpaste).
But then I remember that the Austens were probably pretty happy about the technology they had available. They had a stove after all, not just a fireplace. They thought they had it pretty good. It’s like when we had floppy disks and computers without graphics. We didn’t know any better, so it was cutting edge and cool. Jane and her family probably read books set in the Middle Ages and thought: “Those poor people! They only had a primitive fireplace to cook with.” Happiness is not knowing any better.