Victorian-American newspapers illustrate the rules of etiquette governing New Year’s calls. Society’s expectations were made public and adherence expected. What did proper decorum require on January 1?
The Victorian Era drew to a close in January, 1901 with the death of Queen Victoria. The newspaper article I share within this post comes from July, 1902 (technically the Edwardian Era), but society’s expectations of table manners and propriety at a summer resort hadn’t changed. This article covers a few of the many, many “Summer Resorts” in the Victorian-Era United States and touches on why these resorts were so loved.
The first spark of an idea for my new release (Courting Miss Cartwright) came from The Reverend George W. Hudson 1883 book: The Marriage Guide for Young Men: A Manual of Courtship and Marriage. While this “self help” book is now in the public domain, I don’t quote the book directly; I used it as a springboard, a frame of reference, as the ideas, attitudes, and advice expressed within it are common within the latter Victorian-era. I share a segment of Hudson’s book as this true-to-life argument for methodically choosing the right woman to fall in love with becomes a major part of my new novella. Courting Miss Cartwright will debut in three days (7-30-16) within the Western Historical Romance Boxed Set Cowboys & Calico.
19th Century young ladies (and gentlemen) learned a great deal about etiquette from their mothers, finishing schools, and from the societal expectations around them. The true art of conversation was a significant skill taught and expected within society, whether Philadelphia’s Old Money or the rural frontier. After all, conversation was a key element of an evening’s entertainment, courtship, and the Victorian Era’s social expectations.