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?
Victorian-American Headaches: Part 3 continues the 11-part series, adding to two other doctors’ perspectives, opinions, and attitudes about headaches. This 1893 newspaper article explains types of headaches, and the doctor’s urging to mothers and nurses to protect babies’ eyes. He not only mentions headache “specifics”, but he sheds much light on antipyrin, a development that made a big splash in the waters of headache management, circa 1888. Scientists developed the precursors to acetaminophen, aspirin, etc., and use of their remedies exploded. The good doctor explains the urgency of patients in obeying their doctor’s instructions and “taking their prescriptions.”
The Art of Courtship: Vintage wisdom relayed from the mid-nineteenth century to a newspaperman thirty years later (in 1887) sheds light on choosing a wife, beginning a courtship, different types of girls (shy, coquette [flirt], “vidders” [widows], and old maids, etc.). Victorian attitudes are prevalent, including the general idea that the sick and infirm aren’t suitable to marriage (think of the children!). Everything you wished your great-great grandpa had told you about courting… and more.
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.