THE LANGUAGE OF NINETEENTH CENTURY ETIQUETTE BOOKS

To summarize the basic reason for polite behavior in any time period or situation:
“The true aim of politeness, is to make those with whom you associate as well satisfied with themselves as possible. ...it does whatever it can to accommodate their feelings and wishes in social intercourse.”
On Introductions:
“On introduction in a room, a married lady generally offers her hand, and a young lady not. In a ballroom, where an introduction is to dancing, not friendship, you never shake hands -- only a bow. It may perhaps be laid down, that the more public the place of introduction, the less hand-shaking takes place."
All quotations are from Civil War Etiquette: Martine’s Handbook and Vulgarisms in Conversation. (see bibliography)

BASIC SOCIAL RULES FOR GENTLEMEN

ALWAYS NEVER
ALWAYS NEVER

BALLROOM SPECIFICS

REQUESTING DANCES ON THE DANCE FLOOR

DINING ROOM SPECIFICS

ARRIVALS & SEATING ARRANGEMENTS DINING AND DEPARTURE
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Aldrich, Elizabeth, From the Ballroom to Hell: Grace and Folly in Nineteen-Century Dance, Northwestern University Press, Evanston, Ill, 1991.

Chesterfield’s Complete Rules of Etiquette, Dick & Fitzgerald, New York, 1860. (available in facsimile format)

Civil War Etiquette: Martine’s Handbook and Vulgarisms in Conversation, R.L. Shep, Mendicino, CA, 1988. (Handbook originally published in 1866, and Vulgarisms in 1864.)

Hilgrow, Thomas, Hilgrow’s Call Book and Dancing Master, DaCapo Press, Inc. New York, (originally published in 1864.)

Kasson, John F., Rudeness & Civility: Manners in Nineteenth-Century Urban America, Hill and Wang (div. of Farrar Straus and Giroux), New York, 1990.

(Other sources were original etiquette books in the presenter’s personal collection.)

Checklist Copyright: Glenna Jo Christen 1999-2002.

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Updated 9 March 2002 (b)