19th Century Etiquette

The rules are many. Very many. Extraordinarily many. So many, in fact, that little books were often published in order to help young men keep them straight. But you had to commit them to memory–it would be the ultimate in bad form to get caught with one on your person. What follows are just a few of the more important rules. Are they boring? Can be. Tedious? Most of the time. But they passed for the social norm in a world before World War I, World War II, and MTV.

As a caveat, I would simply remind readers that this is the 19th Century we’re speaking of, and in many ways it was not a particularly enlightened time. So if you’re going to adopt any of these habits, choose them carefully, and please bear in mind that some of them may get you smacked.