Thursday, October 27, 2011

Miss Manners

etiquette books

Emily Post's name is synonymous with proper etiquette and manners and today marks her birthday! I received the 17th edition of her book, Etiquette, as a birthday gift from my mom in 2004, and I love having a printed record of what is currently socially acceptable. Since then, I peruse thrift stores and flea markets for vintage etiquette books to add to my collection, fascinated by the antiquated (and sometimes outrageous!) "social norm".

etiquette books

a few gems ...

On gentleman callers ...
"A gentleman attending ladies should seldom if ever be seated while they are standing. He should be prompt to serve them as to their parcels, parasols, shawls, etc. and is not touch the piano unless invited to do so."
—Home and Health and Home Economics, 1880

On calling for a woman ...
"A man always exits his car to greet the lady, unless he is driving and for some reason cannot leave his place at the wheel. No man should sit in a car and allow a woman to climb in by herself, no matter how many attendants may be around to open and shut building and car doors for her."
—Vogue's Book of Etiquette, 1969

On the well-mannered woman ...
"A well-groomed woman is carefully girdled, if necessary, from the time she gets up until she undresses for the night. Her hankerchief is always clean and when not in use, safely on her. The fastidious woman always understands how much the appearance of her hair has to do with that of her whole person."
—Amy Vanderbilt's Etiquette, 1972

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