Monday, April 17, 2017

Major Etiquette Fail

Mr. Clark wasn't "all that" in modern day slanguage — A hostess should never ignore or otherwise insult, any of those paying visits to her home, however, one should not use a gun to settle any social misunderstandings either.

Misunderstanding Social Rules

Jesse C. Clarke evidently wanted to be "the whole thing" when he sought society yesterday and called at a home on Redlands Road. He objected to the hostess paying any attention to a young couple that called during his stay and manifested his displeasure by firing off a revolver and using vile language. For this, little remissness in observing the rules of social etiquette, he was fined $5.00 by Justice Hanna this morning. He is said to be an employee at the P. F. E. plant. — California, 1912


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Etiquette Class for Immigrants

During the 1800s, after Ellis Island in New York City, the Port of Baltimore was the second-leading port of entry for immigrants arriving to the United States.

In Baltimore, Maryland, the first public school for the teaching of etiquette has been established at the Captain William Fleet School, where children of foreign-born parents are given a better conception of our customs and manner of living. – Sacramento Union, 1921

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

First Choice Etiquette

Etiquette Class is Number 1 with Students
Teen Girls' Fashions of the 1920s

From the Madera Tribune of 1925 

"Beginning next Monday, a number of short courses will he offered to Madera high school students once a week for five weeks, advance registration made today show clearly the trend of student preference. The highest registration was in etiquette. For this subject, 115 students indicated a first preference, 56 a second preference, and 42 a third preference. Next in popularity was a course for girls in the care of the automobile. Forty-three students took this course as their first choice. Thirty-nine enrolled for radio, 29 girls for folk dancing, 27 for parliamentary practice, and so on down the line. Much interest in the courses is being displayed by students."

The following week —
New Courses Prove Popular in Madera Union High School

The series of short courses recently introduced in Madera High began Monday morning with most of the classes well attended. Miss McSweeney’s Etiquette class has the largest attendance while Miss Johnson’s class of Etiquette and Mr. Mathews’ class on the Care of the Automobile, rank second with an enrollment of 47 each. The various courses are all very practical and offer the student advantages which he doesn’t secure In his regular school course. Following are the classes and enrollment in each:
Etiquette—(girls) Miss McSweeney, 58. Etiquette—(boys) Miss Johnson, 47. Radio—Mr. Sheldon, 42. Care of the Automobile—Mr. Mathews, 47. Aesthetic Dancing—Miss Richter, 25. Etiquette—(girls) Miss Bennink, 24. Parliamentary Law—Mr. Thompson, 22. Ornamental Gardening—Mr. Moffit, 21. Basketry and Sewing—Miss Worthington, 18. Short Stories—Miss Petty, 15. Salesmanship—Miss Campbell, 12 Modern Drama—Mrs. Hubbard, 12. Fancy Stitches—Miss Jones, 7. Music Appreciation—Miss Short, 3.

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Snuff and Etiquette at Versailles

Smoking was popular as well! – The active ingredient in intobacco was named “nicotine” after the French diplomat, Jean Nicot. Nicot introduced snuff tobacco to French Queen, Catherine de Medici, and the French Nobility.

After a French ambassador to Portugal returned to France with an addictive plant discovered in the New World, it caused a sensation in the French Royal Court. French diplomat and scholar, Jean Nicot, had been introduced to tobacco in Lisbon. There, it was being crushed into powder and was used as the remedy for a variety of maladies, ironically including cancer. Snuffing became a popular activity in Paris after the Queen Mother herself, Catherine de Medici, was introduced to snuffing tobacco by Nicot. He had demonstrated the inhalation of powdered tobacco, as a way to cure  de Medici's frequent headaches. It was later named the genus of tobacco cultivars “Nicotiana,” by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in Nicot's honor. The active ingredient intobacco was also named “nicotine” after the French diplomat.

Snuffing remained popular, and addictive, with the French Royals and Nobility. By the 18th century, snuff boxes were as socially important as fine pieces of jewelry. Anyone who was anyone needed
 to have a variété´ of these boxes. And as fashions changed frequently, so did the styles and designs of snuff boxes. At Versailles, showered with extravagance upon her marriage to Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette was gifted with 52 gold snuff boxes. From all accounts, Marie Antoinette was more likely to carry a box of bon bons on her person, than a snuff box,  but she is said to have been responsible for the French standardization of the modern-day handkerchief.

Prior to the arrival and ultimate popularity of snuff tobacco in Europe,the handkerchief had become simply another object of fashion. Snuff brought the handkerchief back to its original purpose, and was indispensable for cleaning orange-brown, snuff-stained noses and fingers. White handkerchiefs were hardly appropriate for such a task, so snuff users began to employ large, colorful handkerchiefs to hide those stains. The handkerchief, up to that time, had come in many shapes; square, triangular, etc... According to legend, Marie Antoinette remarked that the square-shaped handkerchief at Versailles was the most pleasing, as well as the most convenient to use. The remark is said to have prompted Louis XVI to make mandatory that all handkerchiefs produced in France to be square in shape.

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Saturday, April 8, 2017

19th C. Swedish Social Etiquette


"Skål bror!" —  Or "Cheers brother!"

All through Sweden, social intercourse is encumbered with much ceremonious etiquette, particularly among the landed gentry. The three Scandinavian tongues employ the two personal pronouns "thou" and "you" the first familiarly, the second when speaking to a mere acquaintance. But a well-bred Swedish gentleman, addressing a stranger, will always, with old-fashioned courtesy, substitute the equivalent for, "Monsieur." regardless of harrowing repetitions, and where a title is demanded, even under the difficulties of rapid speech, it is never for a moment omitted. As such politesse, however, in the end becomes both monotonous and wearisome, they have a practical way of cutting the Gordian knot. When a casual acquaintanceship has ripened into genial sympathy or mutual respect your Swedish friend at once proposes a "brotherhood." This is a distinct social ordeal, the initiation to which demands a special rite.

The man who has requested the honor of becoming your brother provides you with a glass of wine filled to the brim, he himself holding another; both rise, each linking the right arm of each, looking one another boldly in the eve and pronouncing the words "Skal bror," the beakers are emptied. Hence you are expected to use the pronoun "thou," and you take your stand on the footing of relationship. Among the reminiscences of this visit to Vermland is an evening when I acquired no less than six new and stalwart brother. On the subject of ancient politesse, I should mention, by the way. that there is a well-known Swedish gentleman who always gives precedence to his own son, because "He has one ancestor more than his father." – Cornhill Magazine, 1887

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Squalor and Etiquette at Versailles

A royal chamber pot from Versailles -There were no bathrooms as we would know them. Courtiers and royalty used decorative commodes in each room, while commoners simply relieved themselves in the hallways or stairwells. No one bothered to house-train the royal dogs, and servants did not consider cleaning up after them to be part of their job description.

The palace of Versailles was once the most lavish large home in the world, the residence of the French royal family along with hundreds of their courtiers and servants. Containing half-a-million square feet, the palace compound has 700 rooms and 67 staircases. With lofty ceilings, gilded crown moldings, decorative floors, and 6000 paintings, there were also extensive servants’ quarters, kitchens, stables, and services.

Versailles was the creation of Louis XIV of France, who obsessively enlarged and enhanced his residence for more than 30 years during the 1600s. Today it’s toured by three million visitors annually, all hoping for a glimpse of the royal lifestyle.
This was the royal family’s private chapel for religious services

The Baroque aesthetic was to leave no surface unadorned. Every royal chamber has gilded paneling and crown molding; every wall has brocaded or flocked wall coverings; every ceiling is covered with allegorical paintings of Greek gods; every floor is patterned parquet or colored tiles. The hallways were done up with contrasting colors of veined marble. Everything inside, from furniture to finishes, is a visual froth of embellishments. Versailles in its day was so visually overpowering that it inspired copycat palaces all across Europe.

The chateau began as a hunting lodge built by Louis XIV’s father, fifteen miles southwest of Paris. Louis grew up during a tumultuous French civil war called the Fronde, during which he was surrounded by conspirators, had no pocket money and slept on ragged sheets. His mother even had to pawn the crown jewels. After consolidating his power as King, Louis compensated for childhood privations by building himself the most luxurious palace imaginable. He continued enlarging it throughout much of his life.
The public could watch the royals from behind the golden railing (at the bottom of the photo), so that there was no privacy for the royal family, even in bed.

The original hunting lodge was embedded within a vast series of newer buildings. Floors were added on top of existing structures, courtyards were filled in by new living spaces, wings were built, stables were constructed, staircases were built and then moved, service hallways added and then altered. The place became a complex maze containing sparkling state apartments as well as uncomfortable attic garrets tucked beneath the roof.

Ongoing construction at the palace provided job security to hundreds of masons, carpenters, plasterers, gilders, painters and landscapers. An immense support staff was maintained, consisting of cooks, valets, gardeners, grooms, hairdressers, and tailors. Vegetables and fruits to feed the masses were provided by a large potager, or kitchen garden.

But life in a palace wasn’t necessarily peaceful or enjoyable. The place was a vast hive of activity. Hundreds of courtiers lived alongside the royal family at Versailles, with their families as well. Nobles who could afford it often moved out of the crowded palace and constructed their own houses beyond the golden gates in the town of Versailles.

Versailles became a tourist destination almost from the beginning. The first visitor’s guide was published in the late 1600s. Anyone was granted entry to the grounds and the palace as long as the dress code was observed. (Hats and swords for men could be rented from the concierge at the gate.) Entry included the ability to enter into the royal apartments. 

A gilded railing separated the royal half of each room from the spectators’ portion. Behind these gilded railings, a series of private doors were built into the back paneling of the royal apartments, leading to secret hallways and stairs which allowed royalty to move from one room to another while remaining hidden from public view. Years later, in 1789, Queen Marie-Antoinette temporarily escaped the revolutionary mob by slipping through one of these doors to the king’s chamber.

Marie-Antoinette (married to Louis XIV’s great-great-grandson, Louis XVI) chafed at being on display even when in her bedroom. When she gave birth to her first child at Versailles, the entire royal family and all the major state officials came to witness the event. Hordes of other inquisitive people crowded in as well, in such numbers that spectators were crushed against the furniture and walls and movement was impossible.

It’s difficult to believe today when gazing at the gleaming golden palace, but life at Versailles was actually quite dirty. There were no bathrooms as we would know them. Courtiers and royalty used decorative commodes in each room, while commoners simply relieved themselves in the hallways or stairwells. No one bothered to house-train the royal dogs, and servants did not consider cleaning up after them to be part of their job description. The constantly-altered chimneys did not draw well, so everything inside was covered with soot. The filth and disorder at Versailles during the ancient regime were noted in many records of the time.

Life at Versailles was not just foie-gras served on golden plates. In need of cleaning, requiring expensive maintenance, and with in-laws living in the wings, Versailles was not so very different from many homes today. — A previous version of this article appeared in the Bloomington, IN Herald-Times in 2009

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Etiquette and Swell Servants

 There is no doubt that the English nobility, have a way of employing servants which offers grand opportunities to rogues. 

The Swell Servants in England

''Although all hopes of recovering the jewels of Lady Dudley has vanished—their real value was £30,000 there is still a good deal of speculation about their disappearance, and a pretty general belief that some of His Lordship's servants must have been at least an accomplice in the transaction. It is difficult to believe that a box of such value entrusted to the care of servants could have disappeared in a railway station from unwilling hands, or that an outside thief could have known so much about the movements of the family as to have been on the spot at the precise moment. However this may be, there is no doubt that the English nobility, have a way of employing servants which offers grand opportunities to rogues.

In most cases the outside of the servants is the chief thing. If the coachman or footman is good-looking in his livery and of the required dimensions, his character is not inquired into. A well known Duke recently advertised for a footman of exactly five feet eleven and a half inches, whose sole business it would be to stand at the back of his coach beside another of like station. A youth, now in the employ of a lady of my acquaintance, applied for the advertised position, and says that his character was not asked for— he was taken into the servants' hall , and measured, and dismissed for lacking the half inch demanded by the Duke.

There is a passion tor tallness in servants, and of one noble family, at least, it is a rule to admit no man servant under six feet. There are six of these eminent personages in their fine mansions. The English servants are good-looking, neat and constitutional flunkeys and flunkeyesses. They are very shrewd, and have their class rules as well defined as any trade union. Downing street does not possess more pigeon-holes and red tape than a mansion of the wealthy. 

An upper house-maid would die at the stake before she would do a bit of work that came within the province of the under house-maid. A swell butler would throw up his position in the face of the Lord Chancellor himself if he were expected to black his own boots. There are many boys of thirteen kept in brass buttons, and in many an instance the sole duty of this boy is to brush the clothes and boots of the butler, the master of the house having his own separate valet.

Of course, it is not pride which has made the inflexible laws of etiquette among these servants, which they refuse to step out of an official groove or function. It is the determination of their class to preserve the conventional number of the servants required for any first-class household. They particularly dislike servants from other countries, especially the Germans, because if well paid, and well treated, they will do anything requested of them."— 
London Correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial, 1875

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Royal Birthday Etiquette – No Insults

Kaiser Wilhelm I of the House of Hohenzollern, was the King of Prussia (January 1861 – March 1888) and the first German Emperor (January 1871 – March 1888), as well as the first Head of State of a united Germany.
A silly story is telegraphed that the German Court is now discussing the question whether Minister Sargent ought to be invited to the Emperor's birthday reception, coupled with the prediction that if he attends "'he will certainly be personally affronted." It is safe to assert that the etiquette of the Court of Berlin does not permit it to invite anybody — least of all a foreign minister— to a reception for the express purpose of insulting him. – The Daily Alta, 1884


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

19th C. Turkish Etiquette

In the past, what was known as Constantinople, is modern day Istanbul. It was the capital of the Ottoman Empire until 1923. 

Etiquette at Constantinople

Court etiquette, degenerating into ease even in Spain, seems still to hold its own at Constantinople. The Paris Journal thinks that the following anecdote of the celebrated pianist Leopold Mayer throws some light upon the hot water into which M. de Vogue, the French Embassador to the Porte, lately fell, it is not easy, according to Mayer, to perform in the Seraglio. You must arrive by 8 o'clock in the morning to perform at 3:00. You must be in full dress. You wait seven hours in a very beautiful gallery, where sitting is forbidden. From time to time you are told what his Highness is doing. " His Highness is just risen." You must prostrate yourself accordingly. "His Highness is going to take the bath." You prostrate yourself again. "His Highness is dressing." Once more you prostrate yourself. ''His Highness is taking coffee," and you prostrate yourself at each of these details of information, and each time more respectfully than before.

At last they bring the piano, but they have removed the legs, in order not to injure the mosaic work of the floor The grand piano is supported on five Turks! The poor fellows are on their knees, bent down and crushed by the enormous weight! But by objecting to play on a piano a cinq Turcs they only think you mean that the instrument is not level. They take a cushion aud place it under the knees of the smallest Turk. They do not suspect that a sentiment of humanity forbids your playing. You are obliged to explain this delicacy of civilization, and the process is long.

At last they place the piano on its real legs, and the Sultan appears. After all sorts of salamaleks, they order you to play. You ask for a chair. There is no chair. It is forbidden to sit in the presence of his Highness. Now a pianist without a chair is in even a more awkward position than an embassador who must not sit down. One must do at Rome what Rome does, and M. de Vogue has been merely taught that the same proverb is true of other places than Rome. But it is clear that a man who cannot stand a great deal — in many senses — is not fitted to be a representative of any kind at Constantinople.
-1872

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Dismissed for Poor Etiquette

 "I am directed by his Excellency to state that the remark you were heard to make on his Excellency's beer at the late Viceregal Ball was neither courteous nor proper."

Etiquette in the Colonies

Mr. C. B. Croons, a contractor of Melbourne, having been declared by the Governor of the colony unfit to hold the appointment of a government contractor, wrote to the Colonial Secretary requesting to know what offense he had given, to which he received the following reply : 


"Colonial Secretary's office, June 3. 1855. Sir— His Excellency, the Governor, having duly considered your request to be informed of the grave charges brought against you, which have caused your dismissal, and having thought fit to accede to such request, I am directed by his Excellency to state that the remark you were heard to make on his Excellency's beer at the late Viceregal Ball was neither courteous nor proper. And, furthermore, that the want of discretion was aggravated by your recumbent bearing and gestures while in the act of leaving the supper room.

His Excellency, at the same time, directs me to state that although the offense would in itself come under the heading of extreme indiscretion, yet having been committed on a great state occasion, where court etiquette was obviously enforced on all sides, his Excellency had no other course open to him than to order your immediate public dismissal and official disgrace, independent of the fact of the bad example set by you to all other government contractors, whose duty it is at all times, and more especially in public, to support and countenance all articles of consumption furnished by official contract. I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant, J. Moore, A. C. S. Charles B. Croons, Esq." – Daily Alta, 1855


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

A Pie Etiquette Plea

"All we insist upon in the name of true etiquette, is that the knife should do its share of the labor, and that the fork should not be compelled unassisted to bear the heat and burden of dissection." — Did some folks not get the memo about the dual utensil? In the mid-19th century, silver companies decided on a combination of forks and knives, to create "Pie Forks" 

A Plea for the Knife

We are not too​ enamored of the knife, and to favor its use in preference to the fork as a means of conveying one'e food to one's month. On the contrary, we are as much opposed to this use of the knife as any one possibly could be. But we hold, nevertheless, that the knife should not be utterly ignored at the table. Where, for instance, the pie crust set before you is excessively inflexible, there is a sort of constructive insult to your hostess in your vain attempts to cut throngh it with a fork. Its toughness is made obvious by your exertions, and in endeavoring to cut the pie crust you enly succeed in cutting into the sensibilities of your hostess. 

By using your knife, on the contrary, your pie crust is divided into eatable portions with neatness and dispatch, and its firmness of texture is remarked by no one. We are sure that no genuine pie lover will deny that in cutting one's pie with one's knife and carrying it piece by piece to the mouth by aid of the fork, ample recognition is accorded to the demands of etiquette; for to thoroughly enjoy one's pie, neither knife nor fork is necessary. As a matter of fact, either is an impertinence. 

The true and only satisfying way to eat pie is to take it up in one's hand, and by gently but firmly pressing the pointed end of the wedge in one's mouth to slough off its beneficence with grateful teeth until its richness is all your own. This is the way to enjoy pie. But we are not talking of enjoyment. Our business is with etiquette. Therefore, we will relegate the true form of pie eating to the privacy of the cupboard, where the hasty snack is taken. All we insist upon in the name of true etiquette, is that the knife should do its share of the labor, and that the fork should not be compelled unassisted to bear the heat and burden of dissection.—Boston Transcript, 1891

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquette© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Friday, March 17, 2017

Marital and Family Etiquette

Though words may seem little things, and slight attentions almost valueless, yet, depend upon it, they keep the flame bright, especially if they are natural. The children grow up in a better moral atmosphere, and learn to respect their parents, as they see them respecting each other.


Married to Politeness

There is as much of truth, as well as of that kind of philosophy which comes into every-day requisition, helping to strengthen and brighten the ties of social affection, in the subjoined brief article: 

"Will you?" asked a pleasant voice. And the husband answered, "Yes, my dear, with pleasure." It is quietly but heartily said; the tone, the manner, the look, were perfectly natural and very affectionate. We thought, how pleasant that courteous reply; how gratifying it must be to the wife. Many husbands of ten years experience are ready enough with the courtesies of politeness to the young ladies of their acquaintance, while they speak, with abruptness to the wife, and do many rude little things without considering them worth an apology.

The stranger whom they may have seen but yesterday, is listened to with deference, and although the subject may not be of the most pleasant nature, with a ready smile, while the poor wife, if she relates a domestic grievance, is snubbed, or listened to with ill-concealed impatience. Oh, how wrong this is — all wrong. Does she urge some request? "Oh, don't bother me!" cries her gracious lord and master. Does she ask for necessary funds for Susy's shoes or Tommy's hat? "Seems to me you are always wanting money is the handsome retort. Is any little extra demanded by his masculine appetite, it is ordered, not requested. "Look here, I want you to do so and so; just see that it's done;" and off marches Mr. Boor, with a bow and a smile of gentlemanly polish and friendly sweetness for even casual acquaintance he may chance to recognize. When we meet with such thoughtlessness and coarseness, our thoughts revert to the kind voice and gentle manner of the friend who said, "Yes, my dear, with pleasure."

I beg your pardon, comes as readily to his lips, when by any little awkwardness he has disconcerted her, as it would in the presence of the most fashionable stickler for etiquette. This is because he is a thorough gentleman, who thinks his wife in all things entitled to precedence. He loves her best; why should he hesitate to show it, not in sickly, and maudlin attentions, but in preferring her pleasure, and honoring her in public as well as private. He knows her worth, why should he hesitate to attest it? 'And her husband he praised her,' saith holy writ; not by fulsome adulation, not by pushing her charms into notice, but by speaking, as opportunity occurs, in a manly way, of her virtues. Though words may seem little things, and slight attentions almost valueless, yet, depend upon it, they keep the flame bright, especially if they are natural. The children grow up in a better moral atmosphere, and learn to respect their parents, as they see them respecting each other.

Many a boy takes advantage of a mother he loves, because he sees often the rudeness of his father. Insensibly he gathers to his bosom the same habits, and the thoughts and feelings they engender, and in his turn becomes the petty tyrant. Only his mother, why should he thank her? Father never does. Thus the home becomes the seat of unhappiness and disorder. Only for strangers are kind words expressed, and hypocrites go out from the hearth-stone fully prepared to render justice, benevolence, and politeness to any one and every one, but those who have the most just claims. "Ah! give me the kind glance, the happy homestead, the wiling wife and courteous children of the friend who said so pleasantly, 'Yes, my dear, with pleasure." –– The Daily Alta, 1857

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Etiquette and Condolences


After Otto von Bismarck's death, the task of opening telegrams and attending to those which, according to etiquette, needed to receive immediate answers, continued from morning until night.

Even when in mourning, the etiquette regarding the condolences from potentates and statesmen in every part of the world, must be followed.

FRIEDRICHSRUHE, Aug. 2.— Prince Bismarck's coffin was closed down yesterday between 7 and 8 o'clock in the presence of the Imperial Chancellor, who left Friedrichsruhe immediately afterward. It was originally intended that the consecration einsegnung, as the Germans call the funeral service, should take place this morning, but it was deferred until 6 in the evening out of deference to the Emperor, who expressed a wish to be present and could not arrive before. 

The whole family, headed by Prince Herbert, assembled in the small, bare death chamber this morning and partook of the Holy Sacrament. The black coffin, of unusually large dimensions, with eight massive silver-plated handles, rested on trestles and occupied exactly the same spot as that on which stood the bed on which the Prince died, the head of the coffin, as was pointed out to me, being almost within touch of the bell rope which the Prince used when summoning his attendants. 

The task of opening telegrams and attending to those which, according to etiquette, must receive immediate answer, still continues from morning until night and keeps Count Rantzau, Count Wilhelm and Prince Herbert continually occupied. I noticed on the table one layer of opened telegrams about a foot high from every Prussian Prince and Princess and almost all the German federal sovereigns. Emperor Francis Joseph, the King and Queen of Italy, the English and Russian courts and over 100 European statesman also telegraphed condolences. — New York Herald, 1898

Do letters of condolence need to be acknowledged?

If you receive commercial sympathy cards simply signed with a name, no. Otherwise, generally yes. Most funeral establishments or crematoria furnish notecard-size thank-you notes...

 Time-honored rituals of death ease us through the unthinkable. Much of what we do during these times is almost rote. Everyone knows how difficult a death is. No, these notes are not original or memorable. They simply serve the purpose of letting the recipient know that you received and appreciated their card. Again, if anyone stands out particularly, make a note to write them later, when you can.

When should acknowledgements be sent out?

Nobody will expect you to do this for some time, so don’t worry if you can’t get yourself to your writing place for weeks or months, but some people deserve a personal reply. — From ModernLoss.com

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Etiquette and Marie Antoinette


Anne d'Arpajon, aka "Madame Etiquette" ~A French aristocrat and First Lady of Honour to Queens of France, Marie Leszczyńska and Marie Antoinette, Anne d'Arpajon was called "Madame Etiquette" by Marie Antoinette for her insistence that no minutia of court etiquette ever be disregarded or altered in any way

Dressing the French Queen

What a cruel ceremony was the dressing of that tame Queen! When Maria Antoinette, in the days of her cumbersome greatness, stood of a morning in the centre of her bed chamber, awaiting, after her bath, her first article of dress. It was presented to her, or rather it was passed over her royal shoulders by the "Dame d'Honneur." Perhaps, at the moment, a "Princess of the Blood" entered the room (for French Queens both dressed and dined in public), the right of putting on the primal garment of Her Majesty immediately devolved upon her, but it could not be yielded to her by the "Dame d'Honneur;" the latter, arresting the chemise de la reine as it was passing down the royal back, adroitly whipped it on, and, presenting it to the "Premiere Dame," that Noble lady transferred it to the "Princess of the Blood."

Madame d'Arpajon had once to give it up to the Duchess of Orleans, who, solemnly taking the same, was on the point of throwing it over the Queen's head, when a scratching (it was contrary to etiquette to knock) was heard at the door of the room. Thereupon entered the Countess de Provence, and she being nearer to the throne than the Lady of Orleans, the latter made over her office to the new comer, in the meantime, the Queen stood like Venus as to covering, but shaking with cold, for it was mid-winter, and muttering, "what an odious nuisance." The Countess de Provence entered on the mission which had fallen to herself, and this she did so awkwardly, that she entirely demolished a head-dress which had taken three hours to build. The Queen beheld the devastation, and got warm by laughing outright. – D. Doran, 1855


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Prussian Princess Etiquette

On State occasions, there is comparatively little ceremony observed here, but everyday life of the Prussian royal family seems to be regulated more strictly on the principle of etiquette, than that of Queen Victoria. 

Victoria's Daughter in Prussia

The Berlin correspondent of the Daily Telegraph writes as follows: The reserve manner at the Royal palace has given rite to various rumors, which have caused much delight to the good people here. The heroine of the incidents I refer to is Princess Victoria. You must know that on State occasions, there is comparatively little ceremony observed here, while the everyday life of the Royal family seems to be regulated more strictly on the principle of etiquette, than that of Queen Victoria.

A Prussian Princess, for instance, is not allowed by her Mistress of the Robes to take up a chair, and, after having carried it through the whole breadth of the room, to put it down in another corner. It was while committing such an act that Princess Victoria was lately caught by Countess Perponcher. 


The venerable lady remonstrated, with a considerable degree of official earnestness. 'I tell you what,' she replied — nothing daunted the royal heroine of the story — 'I tell you what, my dear Countess, you are probably aware of the fact of my mother being the Queen of England?' The Countess bowed in assent. 'Well,' resumed the bold Princess, 'then I must reveal to you another fact. Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, has not once, but very often, so far forgotten herself as to take up a chair. I speak from personal observation, I can assure you. Nay, I am not greatly deceived, I noticed one day my mother carrying a chair in each hand, in order to set them for her children. Do you really think that my dignity forbids anything which is frequently done by the Queen of England?' 

The Countess bowed again and retired, perhaps not without a little astonishment at the biographical information she had heard. However, she knew her office, and resolved to prove not less staunch to her duties than the Princess to her principles. A scene similar to the one narrated recently happened, when Countess Perponcher, on entering one of the remote chambers, took the Princess by surprise, while busily engaged in the homely occupation of arranging and stowing away a quantity of linen, but all objections the Countess could urge were again beaten back in another equally unanswerable argument taken from the every day life of the Mistress of Windsor Castle. 

After having gained these two important victories, Princess Victoria, true to the auspicious omen of her name, carried the war into the enemy's camp. The Chambermaids, whose proper business it is to clean the rooms, discharge the duties of their position in silk dresses. The daughter of the richest sovereign in the world decided to put a stop to this extravagance.

One fine morning she had all the female servants summoned to her presence, and delivered what may be considered a highly successful maiden speech. She began by telling them the expense of their dresses must evidently exceed the rate of their wages. She added that as their wages were not to be raised, it would be very fortunate for them if they were allowed to assume cotton articles of clothing. 'In order to prevent every misunderstanding,' the Princess continued, 'I shall not only permit, but order you to do so. You might know that there ought always to be a difference in the dress of mistress and servant. Don't think that I want to hurt your feelings ; you will understand my intention at once, if I tell you that.' 


And now came the same unanswerable argument from the Court of St. James, she told them briefly that at that Court, people in their position performed their duties in cotton, and that she liked to be ruled by her mother's practice. — The Daily Alta, 1858

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Bathing-Machine Etiquette


If Asmodeus or some other imp could reveal to the thoughtful critic, the private lives of the bathers of America, France, England and Japan, it would be possible to ascertain which of these codes of bathing etiquette is associated with most correct and purest lives ; but as the data are not all accessible, each of us may draw the conclusion he pleases. 

Bathing Machine Etiquette

Apart altogether from the wide difference, between the description of bath used by various nationalities — differences dependent somewhat upon climate — there is great diversity in the etiquette surrounding the bath. In Western Europe, England and the United States, the private bathroom is usually occupied by one individual at a time, but the etiquette of sea-bathing in England differs widely from that of this country, which has adopted the bathing customs of the continent of Europe, or rather those of France. 


In England, the beach of seaside resort exhibits several ranges of little wooden houses on wheels, called "bathing machines." The proprietors, or attendants, who have an office near, are on the lookout for bathers, and for a small sum give the bather the exclusive right to a machine, which is immediately drawn into the water to a convenient depth for a plunge.

The bathing machines for men are always separated by a considerable distance from those for women, who always wear a bathing dress consisting of a long loose gown. The men wear a waist cloth, or nothing, according to the measure of their own prudery or that of the town authorities. Most bathing machines have a hood, which can be let down so as to secure privacy, and the very prudish of both sexes stay inside its protective folds. The sexes never associate while in the water, so that sea-bathing in England seems a solemn affair for the young men and women of this country, who love the sea bath for the chances it affords for flirtation and exhibition of physical proportions. 


Sirens and lady-killers have but scant opportunities at Brighton or Hastings, compared with those they enjoy at Long Branch or Cape May. The latter are reduced to watching, glass to eye, from the promenade or hotel windows, the capers of the former as they coyly crouch at the edge of the tide, or float far out upon the waves. There can be no romping and dipping, no close inspection of sinewy or graceful contours, no admiration of artistic abbreviation of costume; but, to make some slight amends. Old Neptune flirts with the long blue dresses and lifts them past prudery line.

In Japan they have no nonsensical prudery. Men and women bathe together, and a man does not scruple to introduce his friend of his own sex to his wife or daughter as all stand vesture-less in the water. Properly interpreted, this shows that a Japanese husband has more confidence in his wife and more in his friend than any Celt, Teuton or Anglo-Saxon has yet developed. 
If the confidence is warranted by the want of results, this absence of prudery is a decided step toward a higher civilization. 

If Asmodeus or some other imp could reveal to the thoughtful critic, the private lives of the bathers of America, France, England and Japan, it would be possible to ascertain which of these codes of bathing etiquette is associated with most correct and purest lives ; but as the data are not all accessible, each of us may draw the conclusion he pleases. — Philadelphia Record, 1885

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Etiquette and the Queen

When traveling abroad, she is happy if her host refrains from putting cavier on the menu because she does not like it. On introduction to the Queen and Philip, their hands not are actually shaken but the fingers simply touched in token of greeting or the Royal couple would have sprained wrists from greeting so many.


Manners Fit For A Queen

LONDON (UPI)—When Queen Elizabeth II is presented with a bouquet of flowers, she prefers them to be light scented. A heavy perfume will set her sneezing. When traveling abroad, she is happy if her host refrains from putting cavier on the menu because she does not like it. When conversing with a stranger, she does not mind if asked a direct question so long as the subject is not of an overly personal nature. 


These snippets of information are culled from a brochure which Buckingham Palace sends out to the British embassies concerned when the Queen goes abroad. The information is intended to be passed on tactfully to the several thousand people who are presented to the Queen on such a visit or who entertain her. Protocol naturally is formal; but is not as elaborate nor complicated as the public often supposes.

Fingers Only

On introduction to the Queen and Philip, their hands not are actually shaken but the fingers simply touched in token of greeting or the Royal couple would have sprained wrists from greeting so many. Gentlemen are expected to give a normal bow as they take the royal hand. Ladies give what Is known at court as “a short curtsy,” a little dip made by placing the left foot just behind the right and inclining the head. The old style, floor-touching curtsy, was abolished because it takes too long for the lady to go down and rise again. The deep dip slowed the receiving line. 

The Queen wears gloves, usually white ones, on outdoor: occasions and with evening dress. She prefers other women do the same because so much hand-shake is involved, but would never refuse to meet a woman whose hands were bare. Most men like to wear gloves for the same reason.

Elizabeth always takes a wardrobe of new clothes with her to compliment her hosts. Guests do not have to follow suit by buying a new outfit but they should be dressed fittingly. Very low-cut dresses always are considered inappropriate. 

Likes Flowers 

Bouquets of flowers should not be heavily scented because the perfume increases in a hot room or bright sunshine. The Queen likes locally grown flowers best and is interested in being told what they are and how they are grown. 

If the bouquet can be given to her by a child, so much the better because the Queen, a mother of four, likes to see children everywhere she can. She is never disturbed if a child suddenly turns shy at the crucial moment. She has long experience in putting them at their ease. Conversation with the Queen and Philip is an easy, natural thing. Both are skilled in leading it.

Etiquette allows them to be asked direct questions so long as they are not too personal. Would-be hosts are told that the Queen’s tastes are simple. Neither she nor the Prince likes soups, oysters, other shellfish or caviar. The Queen is fond of China tea while Prince Philip drinks coffee whenever he can. Both are fond of fresh fruits and enjoy chicken dishes.


Prince Cooks 

They like to sample the local specialities. Prince Philip, who takes great interest in cooking and does a little himself at home, often asks for the recipe of an unfamiliar dish he has enjoyed. The Royal couple do not smoke. They drink wine and champagne at formal meals and the Prince takes an occasional glass of light beer with his lunch. — Desert Sun, 1969

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Thursday, March 2, 2017

An Agony Aunt's Etiquette

In the spring of 1898, Marie Manning was sitting in the "hen coop" (slang for 'women's department') of the New York Evening Journal when her editor walked in with three letters from readers seeking personal advice. Would Ms. Manning have any use for such letters on the women's page? Ms. Manning would, and she started an advice column, under the nom de plume, " Miss Fairfax." 

The Girl Who Drinks And Smokes? "This Question Is Not One of Propriety," Says Miss Fairfax, but "One of Common Sense"

LIZETTE writes me: "Do you think it is proper or if it displays courtesy and kindness on the part of a young lady to light a gentleman's cigarette and pour out beer from a bottle into his glass at a public place?" 

It is not a matter of propriety, my dear Lizette. Like many young girls, you do not observe the different shade in the meaning of a word. If this is a question of propriety, then suicide becomes solely a matter of etiquette, and a query if it is "good form" for a girl to pour kerosene over her clothes and set them on fire is not a misuse of the English language. 

Neither will you find in any authority on the origin, derivation and meaning of words sanction for the words "courtesy" and "kindness" as you use them. They are gentle, well bred words and to apply them to such acts as lighting a man's cigarette and pouring out his beer in public places is like planting a violet in a bed of poison ivy. Neither would a "lady" show such attention to a "gentleman" in any place, public or private. But these words have been so universally abused that they have sunk to a low rank, and your use of them is not a misuse. 

Let me write your question as it should be written: "Do you think it is vulgar or if it displays recklessness and a spirit of indecency on the part of a woman to light a man's cigarette and pour out beer from a bottle Into his glass when at a public place?" I certainly do! I think she lights more than a cigarette and she pours out more than beer. She applies a match to her good name. She is starting a fire that will consume her future, leave little of the past which should have spoken well for her and that will die with nothing to show for her life but the cold ashes of shame and regret. She is pouring out humiliation, despair, sin, poverty, loneliness, grief, isolation from all that respectability holds dear, and a bitterness that will eat out her heart and soul. She is committing moral suicide, a crime too serious to be guised as "courtesy" and "kindness." 

My dear Lizette, any young woman who drinks intoxicating liquors with a man at public places demeans herself, and this is just as true if the drink is taken in a public place reeking with wealth or a cheap corner saloon reeking with the ill odors of tobacco and filth. The costly champagne glass has no higher moral tone than the poorest beer glass. 

There is no aristocracy of place that will sanction such an act. No man with brains in his head smokes cigarettes, for if he has the brains and smokes cigarettes, he will not have the brains long. No man with respect for a young woman will drink beer and smoke cigarettes at a public table in her presence. It may be the custom in some countries, but it will never be a custom here with those who reverence the decencies.

A woman who will do that which you ask, is "proper" encourages a man to be disrespectful of all women, a disrespect that will grow in a very short time into contempt for the woman who inspired it. She sanctions his ill breeding, and slips down into something worse In doing it. 

Such a situation as you picture will never be the experience of the girl who respects herself. For never, under any circumstances, would she sit at a table in a public place with a man who drinks beer and smokes cigarettes, and consequently she never would meet the problem in "etiquette" that you submit for solution. – San Francisco Call, 1913

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

19th C. Widow and Widower Etiquette

If a widower marries a young girl, the etiquette is the same as that of a first marriage.
It is not usual to invite guests to the marriage of a widow. If a widower marries a young girl, the etiquette is the same as that of a first marriage. A widow must marry in the morning early, without show, and has only her witnesses and those of her intended. Her dress must be plain, of quiet color; black, however, is not admissible.

On leaving church the bride invites to breakfast the witnesses who have formed the party, but no other guests are invited to this repast. On the fifteenth day after the marriage, cards are sent bearing the new address of the married pair. A widow never makes wedding calls after remarrying. Those who receive tlie cards do the visiting there is a month allowed for the return of the cards and the visits.  — Demorest's Monthly, 1877

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Victorian Etiquette and Customs

 A 1900 illustration of Queen Victoria on the arm of illustration featuring Queen Victoria on the arm of Abdul Karim or Munshi, her Indian servant, being received by the Lord Lieutenant and Countess Cadogan at Dublin Castle in Ireland

Etiquette enjoins many formal customs on the great. It requires, for example, that no one shall sit in the presence of Queen Victoria while she is standing, or remain covered where she is. There is only one exception to the latter rule. There is an Irish Lord who, because of some deed of an ancestor calling forth royal gratitude, inherits the privilege to keep his hat on in the presence of royally. No one, also, must address the Queen until she speaks to him or her first. 

A Lady of rank who goes shopping in London will never allow herself to be seen carrying a parcel from the shop to her carriage. This is always done by the shop keeper, who crosses the pavement, head bare, and deposits the parcel. 

No Lady of rank carries her prayer-book to church. Her footman goes before her with it, and opens and closes the pew door. These are but examples of the minute things in which etiquette imposes its law. A breach of any the rules of etiquette, a forgetfulness of what to wear or how to act at the proper moment, is regarded by English society as a very grave offence. 

So despotic are the laws of etiquette in high European society that often the peace of nations has been imperiled by a neglect to treat a Prince, a Nobleman or an Ambassador with the required formality. There was serious trouble in the English Royal family when the Duchess of Elinburg, the daughter of the Czar, went to live among them, and insisted on “taking precedence” of the Princess of Wales. According to the English rule of etiquette, she was obliged to do so; but she insisted that the daughter of a Russian Emperor ought to walk before the daughter of a King of Denmark. 

An amusing story is told of a certain King of Spain who was one day discovered by somebody to be on fire. This somebody had no right to touch the King, so he hastened to the Chamberlain and the Chamberlain to the Marshal, and the Marshal to the Steward, and the Steward to the Groom of the Bedchamber, whose duty it was to take care of the Royal person. While these formalities of etiquette were being gone through with, however, the poor King burned up. — The Russian River Flag, 1878

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Etiquette for a Promenade

A woman should never take the arms of two men, one being upon either side; nor should a man carry a woman upon each arm. The latter of these iniquities is practised only in Ireland; the former perhaps in Kamskatcha. 

When you walk with a lady, even if the lady be young and unmarried, offer your arm to her. This is always done in France, and is practised in this country by the best bred persons. To be sure, this is done only to married women in France, because unmarried women never walk alone with gentlemen, but as in America the latter have the same freedom as the former, this custom should here be extended to them.

If you are walking with a woman who has your arm, and you cross the street, it is better not to disengage your arm, and go round upon the outside. Such effort evinces a palpable attention to form, and that is always to be avoided.

A woman should never take the arms of two men, one being upon either side; nor should a man carry a woman upon each arm. The latter of these iniquities is practised only in Ireland; the former perhaps in Kamskatcha. There are, to be sure, some cases in which it is necessary for the protection of the women, that they should both take his arm, as in coming home from a concert, or in passing, on any occasion, through a crowd. – The Laws of Etiquette, 1836


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Victorian Seashore Etiquette

"I feel bound to advise any girl reader to abstain from bathing in company of lover, friend or male acquaintance on general principles..." — Miss Libbey, on "Seashore Etiquette", 1900

Sea Bathing

Miss Libbey is an authoress. She is also an authority on the proprieties of sea bathing. It appears that "Two Young Girls," having heard of Laura Jean as one freighted down with seashore etiquette, wrote to Miss Libbey, asking, "Should young girls go bathing with male escorts?" and, likewise, "Would it be considered vulgar to go into the surf without stockings?" Ever kindly and given to loaning wisdom from her store, the charitable and impassioned authoress made haste to warn the puzzled maidens against any sockless tempting of Neptune. 


Said she in one of her finest passages: "I feel bound to advise any girl reader to abstain from bathing in company of lover, friend or male acquaintance on general principles. In the first place, even a pronounced beauty can, and often does, look hideous in the water. A man sees her at her worst, which is not advisable, and he never forgets the ludicrous picture she makes." 

In another outburst, founded no doubt upon her own investigation beside the sobbing deep, she cried out in this fashion: "You would not permit a man to put his arms about you waking along the public thoroughfare. Why accord him that privilege in the surf? " "Ah," you answer, 'it is different in the water. There is danger in those great big waves that come booming in, and I am glad to have him to cling to, I'm sure. "You have no business to be where there is danger, my dear." 

As to the hose, they are indeed a necessary adjunct to the bathing suit, if you would be modestly and properly clad. "Exuberance of spirits is all very well among a number of young girls disporting among the waves (here we bow to an old friend in the matter of phrases), but when gentlemen are present take great care not to become boisterous, for they will most assuredly take their cue as to how they will behave from you."

"Summer is very delightful and one of its choicest pleasures is the sea bath, invigorating alike to mind and body, but great care should be observed that it be not abused." – The Evening Sentinel, 1900

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator and Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia