Courting to Dueling: Antiquated Etiquette GuidesBy Julie Oreskovich
The history of women in society and the household is fascinating, enlightening and sometimes amusing. Perhaps the most famous name associated with etiquette and how to behave is Emily Post, but she certainly wasn′t the first to introduce the concept of proper manners and behavior via handbooks.
While many of the ideas proposed to women 100 years ago seem odd to us modern day people, and should be taken with a grain of salt and a sense of humor, these rules and concepts were the norm at the turn of the last century.
In the 1800s, women′s roles included spending their time reading, sewing, writing letters, overseeing the servants, managing the household and dressing appropriately according to one′s social status.
For the Ladies
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 girls. From the customs of courtship to humorous how-to guides to help pick up women, there certainly was no shortage.
For the Gentlemen
Nelson's Home Comforts (1903)
Many old fashioned recipes including collared eel and brain fritters.
Common Sense in the Household (1917)
A comprehensive guide to the cooking with additional chapters on servants, the sick room, and the nursery.
The Bride's Book of Etiquette (1930)
by Anna Steese Richardson
A guide to wedding customs, engagements, budgets, showers and more.
Etiquette for Men (1920)
by G.R.M. Devereux
A guide including the art of conversation, attending a dance, table etiquette and letter writing.
How to Watch Football (1935)
by Lou Little
Help would-be football fans understand the game as they watch it.
The Perfect Gentleman (1912)
by Graham Harry
A guide to social aspirants.
Ladies of the White House (1881)
Laura C. Holloway
The First Ladies from Martha Washington to Lucretia Rudolph Garfield.
The Successful Housekeeper (1882)
A manual of universal application, especially adapted to the every day wants of American housewives.
The Book of Household Management (1861)
Perhaps the most famous cookery book - includes information for the housekeeper, cook, maid and butler.
Manners Makyth Man (1892)
by Edward John Hardy
An anthology illustrating English manners and customs.
Hunting and Practical Hints for Hunting Men (1897)
by George F. Underhill
The etiquette of hunting which includes the rationale of hunting foxes and stags.
A Pocket Guide To Croquet (1899)
by George Herbert Powell
With chapters on the use of the mallet, tactics, etiquette, and the laws of croquet.
The Bazar Book of Decorum; The Care of the Person, Manners, Etiquette, and Ceremonials (1875)
Includes the obligation to cultivate beauty; how to make the ear and the hand beautiful; blushing, laughter.
How to Behave (1857)
Advice on four topics including letter writing, conversation, etiquette and business.
Hold ‘Em Girls: The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Men and Football (1936)
by Judson P. Philips
Educating women about football so they won't ruin men's enjoyment of the game by asking foolish questions.
Etiquette for Gentlemen - A Guide to the Observances of Good Society
A guide to the observances of good society.
Let′s 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)
Charles Hanson Towne
An etiquette book for gentlemen from an author who enjoyed a long career as a poet, author and editor.
Home Comfort: A Complete Manual of Domestic Economy for Schools and Colleges (1899)
Household guide with chapters on everything from making puddings to preventing rust.
The Household Handy Book (1880)
Information for young women that may enable them to add pleasure and usefulness to their lives.
Manners Culture and Dress of the Best American Society (1890)
Richard A. Wells
Advice on letter writing, invitations, valuable suggestions on self culture and home training.
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 (1849)
Advice to young men on their duties and conduct in life.
The Young Man's Friend (1855)
Daniel C. Eddy
Contains admonitions for the erring; counsel for the tempted, encouragement for the desponding.
The Women of England: The Social Duties, and Domestic Habits (1839)
Sarah Stickney Ellis
Victorian conduct literature, emphasizing middle class ideologies of womanhood.
The Complete Servant - Maid or Maiden's Companion (1720)
A book on household management - probably the first female author to earn her living doing this.
What Can a Woman Do (1893)
Mrs M.L. Rayne
Late 19th century exploration of occupations open to American women.
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 etc.
How Men Propose (1890)
by Agnes Stevens
Divided into sections such as the youthful proposal, the humble proposal, the failedl proposal etc.
The Gentleman′s Stable Directory, or Modern System of Farriery (1788)
Includes equine diseases and injuries, breeding, breaking, shoeing, stabling etc.
The American Woman's Home (1869)
Catherine E. Beecher
From ventilation to decoration, exercise and food to sleep habits, manners and order to charity work.
Woman in her Various Relations (1860)
Mrs L.G. Abell
Standard duties of American women, followed by a defense of the traditional role of women in society.
The Mirror of Graces or the English Lady's Costume (1811)
by Mary Hill
Ellis was the most popular writer of Victorian conduct literature, emphasizing middle class ideologies of womanhood.
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 (1930)
by Earl E. Fisk
Advice including why it's necessary to cure the vices of wives as soon as possible and why reading is detrimental to women.
The Young Man's Own Book (1833)
Self-improvement, etiquette manual, popular and much-reprinted in the first half of the 19th century.
The Lady's Guide to Perfect Gentility (1856)
by Emily Thornwell
A useful instructor in writing, toilet preparations, needlework, care of wardrobe, teeth, and complexion.
How to Manage a Country House (1662)
by Charles Estienne
Originally published in 1554, contains advice on different aspects of the country household
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 (1859)
by Henry Lunettes
Contains rules of etiquette and direction for the formation of character.