Simple Social Graces: Recapturing the Lost Art of Gracious Victorian Living

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9780060391706: Simple Social Graces: Recapturing the Lost Art of Gracious Victorian Living
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If you randomly stopped people on the street and asked them to assess their lives, most would wonder, "Am I happy?" A Victorian would wonder, "Am I a good person?"

National pride, self-respect, hard work, self-reliance, family, neighborliness -- these ideals were the embodiment of Victorian living. At a time when the national spotlight is cast on the demise of cultural decency and the disintegration of family, Victorian scholar Linda Lichter presents an invaluable guide that demonstrates how the ideals of character and civility that formed the bedrock of community during this bygone age can breathe new life and dignity into the troubled '90s.

Illustrated with period black-and-white drawings, this engaging, enlightening text explores the fascinating underpinnings of Victorian mores and values; from courtship, child rearing, dress codes and manners to attitudes toward death, religion and sex. Celebrating a time when family was revered, children were raised in a mannerly and moral fashion, and love spoke of a transcendent state between the sexes, Simple Social Graces reminds readers of the traditional ideals that can help heal and strengthen American society today.

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About the Author:

Linda S. Lichter is co-director of the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington D.C. With her husband, Bob Lichter, she has co-authored The Media Elite and Watching America, and she has written for The Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, The New York Times, and other publications.

From Library Journal:

This unique work compares and contrasts the etiquette and daily life of Americans during the Victorian period with that of our current society. Sociologist Lichter describes in great detail socializing, parenting, homemaking, and courting, dispelling some of our widely held misconceptions about the Victorians. Well researched and well balanced, her book includes many supporting examples from the writings of the Victorian era as well as numerous examples gleaned from 20th-century media, popular culture, and politics. More than a history of the social customs of the Victorians, this is also a searing social commentary on this century's decline of gracious living and social amenities despite our many advances and high standard of living. Recommended for academic and public libraries where demand for social history and commentary warrants.ABonnie Poquette, Appleton P.L., WI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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