Rules and Manners of Good Society, or, Solecisms to be Avoided

A friend recently linked me to


Printed in 1916, though as a revision of the original printing, it looks like an extremely good resource for early twentieth century mores! (Though I can tell you from experience that some of the pronunciations are no longer accurate, though this does explain why people kept pronouncing Cirencester as ‘Cis’ter’. It is no longer said that way.)

Including such vital information as:

Such casual acquaintanceships are, however, attended with certain risks, especially to persons who have been absent from England some little time, or who when in England have entered comparatively but little in society, and who are thus apt to drift unawares into close friendships with people perhaps well bred and agreeable, although tabooed at home for some good and sufficient reason. Contretemps such as these are painful to kind-hearted people when subsequently compelled to avoid and to relinquish the acquaintance of those with whom they have become pleasantly intimate. An introduction to an English resident in either town or city obviates any unpleasantness of this nature, as one so situated is generally kept au courant with all that takes place in society at home.


When a prince wishes to dance with any lady present, with whom he is unacquainted, his equerry informs her of the prince’s intention, and conducts her to the prince, saying as he does so, “Mrs. A——, your Royal Highness” or “Miss B——, your Royal Highness.” The prince bows and offers her his arm; the lady should curtsey and take it. She should not address him until addressed by him, it not being considered etiquette to do so. The same course is followed by a princess; strangers to the princess should not ask her to dance, but the host has the privilege of doing so. When more than one royal personage is present, the one of the highest rank leads the way, with either hostess or host.

No doubt this will prove useful should I ever travel back in time. And, of course, for writing.


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