Thanks to Jerry Hulse for his attempt to demythologize the concept of B&B; in the United States. In Europe, and in England particularly, B&Bs; became popular because they were inexpensive, clean, and offered some opportunity to mix with the locals, but they were never pretentious.
When I was a child my parents and I used "tourist accommodation" houses as a less expensive alternative to hotels. The B&B; could still be used practically if priced right.
KATHARINE R. McCORMACK