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Regency Newspapers and Magazines
London
Theatre
The Etiquette and Manners of Regency Society
   
Etiquette is the barrier which society draws around itself as a protection.
(It is) a shield against the intrusion of the impertinent, the improper, and the vulgar.

--Charles William Day
 
January 2017 - My Regency World of etiquette and society is continuing at Pinterest;
see my latest research finds at
https://www.pinterest.com/lesleyannemcl/my-regency-world-etiquette-and-society/
 
My Latest Research Discoveries 2015

Rev. John Trusler (1735–1820) was the author of, among many other books, The System of Etiquette (excerpted left) and The Principles of Politeness (excerpted right and above right). He was a cleric, a sometime doctor, a publisher, bookseller and a writer/compiler of all kinds of advice books. As this last, he must have had a noticeable impact on the manners and etiquette instilled into young people during the Regency era.



Advertisement above left from The Morning Chronicle Jan. 2, 1802

Advertisement above centre from The Morning Chronicle Sept. 1, 1814

 

 
From La Belle Assemblee February 1806
"Maxims and Rules for the Conduct of Women"
by the Late Countess de Boufflers

1. In the exterior, decency and cleanliness.
2. In demeanor, reason and simplicity.
3. In actions, justice and generosity.
4. In language, truth and perspicuity.
5. In adversity, fortitude and pride.
6. In prosperity, moderation and modesty.
7. In company, affability and ease.
8. In domestic life, rectitude and kindness, without familiarity.
9. Fulfil duties according to their order and importance.
10. Never allow yourself any thing but what a third enlightened and impartial person would allow you.
11. Avoid giving advice.
12. When you have a duty to fulfil, consider dangers only as inconveniences, and not as obstacles.
13. Sacrifice every thing to peace of mind.
14. Combat adversity, as disease, with temperance.
15. Be anxious only to do what is right, paying as much respect as possible to the world and to the law of decorum; but, having observed this rule, be indifferent to public opinion.
16. Never indulge in any but innocent raillery, which is not injurious to principles, nor painful to persons.
17. Despise interest, and employ it nobly.
18. Deserve respect.

 
From "A Manual of Politeness, comprising The Principles of Etiquette, and
Rules of Behaviour in Genteel Society for Persons of Both Sexes"

"No lady in fashionable circles will dance with a gentleman, unless previously introduced."
"In accepting a gentleman's arm, the lady usually passes her hand and wrist within the gentleman's forearm;..."
'It is unjust as well as ill-natured to take advantage of the weakness of others.' 'Nothing is of so much importance, and of so much use, to a young man entering life, as to be well criticised by women.' 'Sincerity is the groundwork of all this is good and valuable.'
"In a visit of ceremony during winter, ladies properly quit their cloak in an antechamber, however splendid it may be."
'to enter a room without being in some way announced, is barbarous...'
"(Gentlemen) To stretch out the legs while sitting announces conceit and pride, and to bend them up gives a timid and frightened air."
From "The Laws of Etiquette or, Short Rules and Reflection for Conduct in Society" by A Gentleman
Civility is never a losing game; courtesy will always reproduce itself in others, and the original exhibiter get at least as much as he gives.
The members of an invited family should never be seen conversing with one aother at a party.
In speaking of, or to, another person, never designate that person merely by the first letter of their name, but make use of the whole word. It is particularly offensive to hear a man alluding to his wife in this way.
It is an extremely difficult affair to travel in a [stage]coach, with perfect propriety. Ten to one the person next to you is an English nobleman incognito; and a hundred to one, the man opposite to you is a brute or a knave. To behave so that you may not be uncivil to the one, or a dupe to the other, is an art of some niceness.
In mounting a pair of stairs in company with a woman, run up before her; in coming down, walk behind her
When you allude to a house as connected with any of the affairs of society, speak of it as belonging to the mistress of the house, not to the master; say, for instance, that you met such a person "at Mrs. A.'s."
From "The Female Instructor or Young Woman's Guide to Domestic Happiness"
The character of a toad-eater, flatterer, or sycophant is truly detestable;...
An elegant neatness is the strongest
proof of taste and delicacy.
Blushing in man may be a weakness, but in woman it is peculiarly engaging
Never suffer any one, under the pretence of friendship, to take unbecoming liberties with you.
From "Etiquette and the Usages of Society" by Charles William Day
Do not pride yourself on doing "steps neatly," unless you are ambitious of being taken for a dancing-master; between whose motions and those of a gentleman there is a great difference.
...dance quietly; do not kick and caper about, nor sway your body to and fro; dance only from the hips downwards...
Do not say a person is "affable," unless he or she be of very high rank, as it implies condescension. Royal personages are "gracious".
"To lose without any exhibition of ill-humour, and to win without any symptom of exultation, are deemed characteristic of high breeding and savoir vivre, and those who cannot always remember this, would do well to give up play.
Women should never play except for trifling sums, and not even then, unless they can retain the command of their temper; she who wishes to win a heart, or to retain one, should never permit her admirers to behold her at cards,… as the anxiety they produce is as destructive to beauty as to sentiment.
Remember that if you are quiet in
society you will, at least, have credit for discretion.
Never allow a person above the rank of a shopman to leave the room without your ringing the bell for the street door to be opened.
Nothing indicates a well-bred man more than a proper mode of eating his dinner.
In speaking to ladies of title, do not
say "my lady," it being only proper
for servants and tradespeople so to
do; you may occasionally say "your ladyship," as it shows that you are aware of their claim to the distinction.

Do not repeat the name of the person to whom you are speaking… It is a sufficiently bad habit in an equal, but in one of lower rank it becomes an impertinence.
Never use the term 'genteel'. Do not speak of 'genteel people'; it is a low estimate of good-breeding, used only by vulgar persons, and from their lips implies that union of finery, flippancy, and affectation, often found in those but one remove from 'hewers of wood and drawers of water.' Substitute' well-bred person,' 'manners of a gentlewoman', or of 'a gentleman', instead.
From "Regency Etiquette: The Mirror of Graces (1811) or The English Lady's Costume"
by a Lady of Distinction  Reprinted by R. L. Shep Publications
...we totally disapprove, at all time, of the much ornamented stocking.   ...the finest rounded ancles are most effectually shown by wearing a silk stocking without any clock.
...a diversity of colours bespeaks vulgarity of taste,...
..the occasional use of rouge may
be tolerated...only tolerated.
Excess is always bad.
Cheerfulness is becoming to all times of life, but sportiveness belongs to youth alone;...
Women in every country have a greater influence than men chose to confess.
At no time ought she (a lady)
volunteer shaking hands with a
male acquaintance,...
...your dress...should correspond with
the station you hold in society.
Health is the mother of beauty, decency her governess, taste and judgment her attendants.
From "The Miseries of Human Life" published in 1806 by James Beresford,
some of the "Miseries of Social Life"
"At a dance, pointing out to your beautiful partner, the ludicrous vulgarity of a man who, she blushingly informs you, is her brother."
"In a very polite circle--the convulsive and portentous termination of your well-modulated titter in an involuntary short snort."
"Diffidently entering a full room, every chair occupied, and no one standing to keep you company."
"Hearing the bells ring for the marriage
of your rival."
 
"Let their attitude at the piano, or the harp, be easy and graceful."
a Lady of Distinction