Important acquisitions

The ladies' science of etiquette by a lady

Author A Lady
Title The ladies' science of etiquette by a lady
Imprint Edinburgh: Paton and Ritchie
Date of Publication c1850
Language English
Notes Victorian society was famously governed by strict codes of etiquette which were supposed to be the defining marks of members of polite society. This meant that many guides to these rules were produced, aimed at those who were anxious about whether their own behaviour met these exacting standards. This is one of the rarest surviving examples of such a conduct book, in its original coloured paper covers. Although here the work is published anonymously, it seems to be a reprint, originally written by the author and socialite Baroness E.C. de Calabrella, who was part of the circle surrounding the Regency dandy Count D'Orsay. This may account for the tone of this volume: where many such etiquette guides were written by and for the expanding Victorian middle class, and reflected bourgeois stolidity, The Ladies' Science of Etiquette discusses questions such as whether a lady should walk to a ball ('superlatively ridiculous' - if stuck in a provincial town without a carriage, take a sedan chair) and whether it is acceptable for a lady to carry a small dog about town ('altogether vulgar').
Shelfmark AB.1.209.051
Reference Sources http://www.worldcat.org/identities/np-calabrella,%20e%20c%20de$baroness
Acquired on 30/09/09
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