Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Victorian Regrets and Rudeness

“You can only imagine what a shock and damper hilarity would receive at a dinner table arranged for 30 or more, with only four or five present.” 

Dinners and Dinner Etiquette

A certain keen observer of social fads and whims has been lamenting the winter fashion of not sending regrets to an invitation, until the day of the event or the day before. She relates an actual incident which occurred not long ago, when a hostess sent out 25 dinner invitations, and receiving no replies, ordered plates to be served for that number with the necessary preparations. Not until that very day did she receive replies, and, as our critic observed, “You can only imagine what a shock and damper hilarity would receive at a dinner table arranged for 30 or more, with only four or five present.” 

Another common breach of etiquette which one entertaining much deplores is the easy familiarity with which many try to squeeze in a friend or relative. It is an actual fact that one who had set the utmost limit to the number she could accommodate at an afternoon affair was completely nonplused to find that many of the replies proposed bringing a friend, with the apology, “I know you won't mind.” This would not matter at a large reception, but at many other social affairs, even one extra is a serious disadvantage.—London Standard, 1893

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