Etiquette

Conversation Etiquette

Conversation was something that could happen everywhere — at formal dinner parties, on streets, in coffee houses, at public amusements, and when traveling. Charming conversation was one type of conversation, and it was the type of conversation that had numerous amiable qualities: “kindness, politeness, patience, and forbearance.” Sometimes, however, conversations were nothing more than “frivolous,”…

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Road Etiquette for Victorian Bicyclists

The first real bicycle — a two-wheeled machine, operated by crank-action on a rotating axle — did not appear until the early 1860s, and cycling did not become a widely popular activity until the 1870s. However, once it did become popular it was touted as a way for a person to achieve independence, and, in…

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Ice Skating Etiquette

Ice skating was a popular pastime among Britain’s upper and middle classes by the mid 1800s. It was so popular the first attempt at creating artificial ice skating rinks occurred in England in 1841. It required using a mixture of hog’s lard and salts. But these artificial rinks were so smelly, they quickly fell out…

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Etiquette in Church

Etiquette was not just practiced at the dining room table or on the streets but also at church, and depending on the church you attended there were different customs and etiquette rules. One etiquette expert noted that it was a sign of ill breeding to be late to church, and noted: “[I]n visiting a church…

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Umbrella Etiquette and Manners

“There is one piece of property, which is nobody’s property, or everybody’s property, or is not property at all — and that is, Umbrellas.“[1] That was the opinion of one nineteenth century writer and to a degree it was true because no article was borrowed more frequently or returned less than the umbrella. In fact,…

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Knife, Fork, and Spoon Etiquette in the 1800s

“The knife and fork were not made for playthings, and should not be as such when people are waiting at the table for food.” This was one of the many gems of advice offered by nineteenth century etiquette experts who saw proper table etiquette as way to display proper breeding. Eating a meal in the…

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Table Etiquette for Gentleman in the Victorian Era

“Nothing is more fatal to good table manners than haste; therefore be deliberate.” That was the first of nineteen rules of table etiquette listed by a newspaper in the Victorian Era, and if you thought it a simple matter to have a meal, it was not. One book noted: “There are so many little points…

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Horseback Etiquette For a Gentleman Riding With a Lady

Proper etiquette infused every part of people’s lives in the 1800s. It was required at balls, when visiting friends, or when sitting down to eat. Proper etiquette could not be overlooked when a gentleman escorted a lady on horseback as it was considered one of the most exhilarating amusements and enjoyable activities indulged in by…

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Ballroom Etiquette for Females

Balls were frequent occurrences in the Victorian Era, and proper ballroom etiquette was always required when attending one. The first thing a guest had to deal with occurred before the ball began. It was the invitation. Requests to attend a ball were almost always formal and usually in the form of a handwritten invite, although…

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Etiquette for Men in the Streets

During the 1800s, there were many etiquette rules that sometimes contradicted each other and numerous etiquette books that gave recommendations for gentleman, a title that by that time was no longer just “a distinct social order.” Gentlemen were to abide by rules of etiquette so as not to be considered “vulgar.” One nineteenth century book…

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