Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Etiquette and "Yankee Vulgarity"?

            “The social sphere and those who make it are shallow —so shallow. And vulgar!" —Madame Guyot   "Thanks to the meteoric increase in millionaires in New York due to the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution, many of whose fortunes rivaled or even surpassed the oldest of families, Mrs. Astor and Ward McAllister had a whole new challenge in deciding who of the nouveau riche was acceptable. This led to the creation of the famous List of 400 — the Four Hundred people who were New York’s high society." —from MCNY.org

American Wives Bought, says Parisian —French Woman 
Declares That Yankee Society Is Vulgar and Its Talk Petty

The American wife and American society in general were given a "roast” by Madame Alexandrine Guyot of the old D’Arnaud family of France today in an interview at the Hotel Westminster, where she is staying. 

That American wives are bought and paid for is the substance of the gray-haired French woman’s remarks and that the majority of them are selfish and do not care for their husbands, she states openly. "American marriages fail! Why do they fall?” she exclaimed. “Because American wives don’t marry particularly for love, but for hats and dresses and plenty to eat. If the next man that comes along can supply prettier hats and more expensive dresses and give better dinners. many wives are willing to go with him.” 


Madame Guyot then in a delicious French accent told more of her opinions of Matrimonial Americana. “It’s a sham, generally considered,” she said, “and the only way it can be remedied is to educate the women of tomorrow. Marriages abroad, where the husband is recognized as the master of the house, are rarely unsuccessful, and the women of tomorrow in the United States must be the women who will recognize the domination of the husband in the affairs of the home and obey and respect him.” Madame Guyot then turned her attention to society and the “400” of various cities. 


"Society women talk about nothing but petty affairs and do nothing but petty things,” she said. “The social sphere and those who make it are shallow —so shallow. And vulgar!" “Surely not vulgar,” ventured a visitor. “Yes, vulgar," returned Madame Guyot. “Why, some society women laugh so loudly that they may be heard clear out of doors! Abroad this would be considered a breach of etiquette, even in a servant!” — Los Angeles Herald, 1913

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

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