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.
Fans of Mail Order Bride historical romances know that many of these marriages of convenience involved letter-writing for a couple to become acquainted and perhaps eventually marry. The curious thing is that writing and love letters between a courting couple wasn’t a phenomenon for those separated by distance. Couples in the Victorian-Era United States often sent love letters to one another as part of their courtship, even when the other party resided nearby.