"Politeness is goodness of heart put into daily practice," declares the author of this 1860 guide to good manners, adding, "there can be no true
politeness without kindness." Florence Hartley's world of calling cards and horse-drawn carriages may seem remote, but her advice is ageless. Friendliness, courtesy, and regard for other people's feelings remain the basis of etiquette for gentlemen as well as ladies. After all, it's just as rude today to neglect guests or finish someone else's sentences as it was in the nineteenth century.
This vintage manual abounds in tips for proper behavior in every situation, from hosting dinner parties ("See that no guest is left in silence from the want of attention") and taking public transportation ("Make room for others if you see that the opposite side is full") to choosing clothes ("Do not be too submissive to the dictates of fashion"). Historical context adds a flavorful charm to advice on conducting morning calls and engaging in proper ballroom etiquette. Between its fascinating glimpses of a bygone era and its enduringly sound, common-sense suggestions, this book offers a uniquely instructive guide for navigating life with grace and confidence.
Reprint of the Isha Books, New Delhi, 2013 edition.
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