Life and Style: The Cut

While a lady or gentleman ought to take all aspects of etiquette and politeness seriously, there are few things they should take quite as seriously as the decision to cut an acquaintance. This is most especially the case when they are considering the use of what is sometimes called the cut direct. After all, there …

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Life and Style: Should Your Victorian Servants Knock at Doors?

Naturally, it falls to the discretion of the mistress of an establishment, to decide whether her servants should knock only at doors in specific circumstances or more widely. However, in Society, there are some generally accepted rules which most households follow, and we shall endeavour to lay them out below. To commence, it is roundly …

Life and Style: Hints for Gentlemen Wishing to Smoke on Trains

As the bye-laws state that smoking is forbidden in general train carriages, any gentleman who feels that he cannot simply wait until his journey is completed would be best advised to make his way to one of the smoking carriages.[1] These carriages, set aside for those who wish to smoke, are widely employed by most …

Life and Style: Conversing with Fellow Passengers Whilst Onboard a Train

The first matter of consideration, when contemplating the etiquette of conversation for ladies and gentlemen undertaking a journey by rail, is the correctness of starting a conversation. According to some, it would not be proper for any lady to start a conversation with any of her fellow passengers.[1] Yet, if someone else should speak to …

Social Success: Five Pieces of Regency Etiquette (Part Seven)

Following on from our earlier discussions on the subject of Regency etiquette, we shall once again turn our attention to the conduct required of ladies and gentlemen in a ballroom. Having previously addressed our remarks principally to gentlemen in the last installment of this series, the following hints and tips are intended to have a …

Social Success: Horse Riding Hints for Victorian Gentlemen

Following on from our earlier discussion regarding the proper conduct a lady ought to adopt when riding, it seems only right and fair that we should now address this matter for gentlemen as well. It would be rather poor form not to, and Behind The Past would not want any gentlemen readers to feel neglected. …

Social Success: Horse Riding Hints for Victorian Ladies

Before we proceed to the subject of horse riding, there is an important matter of vulgarity which must be urgently addressed. And while this matter has nothing to do with the business of actually riding a horse, it is nevertheless of the utmost importance. It cannot be overlooked. So, although this is perhaps not the …

In-Depth: Seawater and Sea Bathing

It has been rather a while since the last In-Depth article, in which the Gin Craze was explored. Therefore, it seemed that a return to this section of the blog was more than a little overdue. In the Georgian era, sea bathing became a rather modish activity.[1] Seaside resorts grew up along the south coast …

Social Success: Five Hints on Victorian Household Management (Part Three)

In the management of any respectable Victorian household, neatness, tidiness, good taste and economy all have their place. However, a home should not just be a warm place to sit by the fire, but a place which warms the heart as well. While that might perhaps sound a little too quaint, and while some might …

Social Success: A Victorian Guide to Proper Pronunciation (Part Two)

After our first foray in to the world of proper pronunciation for Victorian ladies and gentleman, it seems that a second consideration of this weighty matter would not go amiss. After all, it is very important that a lady or gentleman not only looks the part, or acts the part, but also sounds the part. …