All About History
elegant etiquette In the nineteenth Century
Avoid social embarrassment with this handy guide
Author Mallory James Publisher Pen and Sword Books Price £13 Released Out now
The world of 19th-century society was ruled by etiquette, from the drawing room to the ballroom and beyond. This slim but informative volume by Mallory James attempts to present an all-inclusive guide to avoiding social embarrassment in the Regency and Victorian eras. Drawing on contemporary 19th-century etiquette guides, James guides the reader through every social situation imaginable and offers step-by-step instructions for those who might be researching, writing about or just interested in the good manners essential to those who moved in an often stifling world. In doing so, she also attempts to establish what these rigidly observed customs meant for society at large and how everyday life might have looked for those who lived under such rules.
This enjoyable book is packed full of revealing facts and unexpected information. Despite its relatively low page count, it is a comprehensive volume that leaves few — if any — stones unturned when it comes to social occasions. Perhaps aware of the occasionally obscure customs that she is dealing with, James ensures that each chapter goes into the social mores of the matter in question, explaining important topics ranging from precedence and rank to marriage and employing households servants, among others.
All of this adds up to a very entertaining read and one that casual researchers and those looking for a quick guide to etiquette will find invaluable. Authors of 19th-century fiction in particular will certainly find it a useful addition to their bookshelves!