Manners for Men by Mrs Humphry (1898)
Manners for Men
Mrs Humphry (1898)

Imagine giving a modern day young man a handbook telling him how to behave at a dinner party. Or perhaps a manual on the proper ways to court and ultimately marry a young woman. One can only imagine his reaction.

Many guides were published in the 19th century that were useful for a gentleman in his everyday life. Some focused on general advice for young men on such topics as their duties and conduct in various social and work scenarios. Others provided education on recreational activities such as hunting, horse riding, football and croquet.

Many of the etiquette guides and manuals for gentlemen back in the day revolved around the fairer sex. From the customs of courtship to humorous how-to guides to help pick up women, there certainly was no shortage on this subject.

Although some customs employed in the 19th century are no longer relevant, and are even ridiculous today, there are also many that survived into contemporary custom. If you're looking to brush up on your manners and etiquette, any one of the books below will help to make you an outstanding member of society Ė or at least give you a good laugh.

See our selection of Ladies Handbooks.

For the Gentlemen

Etiquette for Men by G.R.M. Devereux (1920)
Etiquette for Men (1920)
by G.R.M. Devereux
sold

A guide including the art of conversation, attending a dance, table etiquette and letter writing.
How to Watch Football by Lou Little (1935)
How to Watch Football (1935)
by Lou Little
sold

Help would-be football fans understand the game as they watch it.
The Perfect Gentleman: A guide to Social Aspirants by Graham Harry (1912)
The Perfect Gentleman: A guide to Social Aspirants (1912)
by Graham Harry
sold

A guide to social aspirants.
Manners Makyth Man Edward John Hardy (1892)
Manners Makyth Man (1892)
by Edward John Hardy

An anthology illustrating English manners and customs.
Hunting and Practical Hints for Hunting Men by George F. Underhill (1897)
Hunting and Practical Hints for Hunting Men (1897)
by George F. Underhill

The etiquette of hunting including the rationale of hunting foxes and stags.
Etiquette for Gentlemen - A Guide to the Observances of Good Society
A Pocket Guide To Croquet, Being A Manual Of The Modern "scientific" Game (1899)
by George Herbert Powell

With chapters on the use of the mallet, tactics, etiquette, and the laws of croquet.
Etiquette for Gentlemen - A Guide to the Observances of Good Society
Etiquette for Gentlemen - A Guide to the Observances of Good Society
Unknown
sold

A guide to the observances of good society.
Letís Make Mary: A Gentleman's Guide to Seduction in 8 Easy Lessons by Jack Hanley (1937)
Letís Make Mary: A Gentleman's Guide to Seduction in 8 Easy Lessons (1937)
by Jack Hanley

A humorous "how to guide" for men on how to pick up women.
Gentlemen Behave: Charles Hanson Towne's Book of Etiquette for Men (1939)
Gentlemen Behave: Charles Hanson Towne's Book of Etiquette for Men (1939)
Charles Hanson Towne
sold

An etiquette book for gentlemen from an author who enjoyed a long career as a poet, author and editor.
Hill's Manual of Social and Business Forms by Thos E. Hill
Hill's Manual of Social and Business Forms
Thos. E. Hill

An early reference on how to express the right thoughts through written communication.
Advice to Young Men by T.S.Arthur (1849)
Advice to Young Men (1849)
by T.S.Arthur

Advice to young men on their duties and conduct in life.
The Young Man's Friend by Daniel C. Eddy (1855)
The Young Man's Friend (1855)
Daniel C. Eddy

Containing admonitions for the erring; counsel for the tempted, encouragement for the desponding; hope for the fallen.

The Gentlemen Instructed, in the Conduct of a Virtuous and Happy Life by William Darrell (1733)
The Gentlemen Instructed, in the Conduct of a Virtuous and Happy Life (1733)
by William Darrell

An early etiquette guide for the young gentleman including recreations, gambling, clothing, dueling and more.
How Men Propose by Agnes Stevens (1890)
How Men Propose (1890)
by Agnes Stevens

Divided into sections such as the youthful proposal, the humble proposal, the unsuccessful proposal etc.
The Gentlemanís Stable Directory, or Modern System of Farriery (1788)
The Gentlemanís Stable Directory, or Modern System of Farriery (1788)
Unknown

Includes equine diseases and injuries, breeding, breaking, shoeing, stabling etc.
The Young Man's Guide by William A. Alcott (1836)
The Young Man's Guide (1836)
by William A. Alcott

Strong opionions on tobacco, gaming, shooting, and most other things that might be considered enjoyment.
Advice to Young Men and (Incidentally) to Young Women by Earl E. Fisk (1930)
Advice to Young Men and (Incidentally) to Young Women (1930)
by Earl E. Fisk

Advice including why it's necessary to cure the vices of wives as soon as possible and why book reading is wholly detrimental to young women.

The Young Man's Own Book: A Manual of Politeness, Intellectual Improvement by Anonymous (1833)
The Young Man's Own Book (1833)
by Anonymous

Self-improvement, etiquette manual, popular and much-reprinted in the first half of the 19th century.
The Father and His Boy: The Place of Sex in the Manhood Making by T.W. Galloway (1922)
The Father and His Boy: The Place of Sex in the Manhood Making (1922)
by T.W. Galloway

Chapters cover areas such as on being a father, why sex education is necessary for boys, the boy and the girl, etc.
The American Gentleman's Guide to Politeness and Fashion by Henry Lunettes (1859)
The American Gentleman's Guide to Politeness and Fashion (1859)
by Henry Lunettes

Contains rules of etiquette and direction for the formation of character.

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