Books I’ve Known And Loved

Liberation or degradation?
Liberation or degradation?

I bought this little book for research. What rules were ladies expected to follow in the 19th century? Admittedly, I fully expected to find it quaint and amusing. What I didn’t expect was how some of the chapters would lead me to question some of our accepted though crass behaviors of today. I didn’t expect to be challenged by the author’s polite though pointed suggestions about the power and importance of civility. The expected knowledge of German literature (in the original) took me by surprise, as well.

In short, the women who aspired to be ladies had very high standards. What are our standards today? Are standards undemocratic? What do you think? Do you have a truck driver’s mouth and a sailor’s brain?

Some silly advice. Some thought provoking questions.
Some silly advice. Some thought provoking questions.

8 thoughts on “Books I’ve Known And Loved

    • My mother is mostly very lady-like but my grandmother warned her about being too permissive with our language when we were growing up. My mother felt it was better that we express ourselves, but now regrets that she let us all become people with truck driver mouths.

      It’s controlled to a point but when something really maddening happens the f-word is the first thing out of my mouth. 🙂

      I also think fashion plays a huge role in defining what it is to be a “lady”

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      • Throwing on a pair of jeans is so easy. I hate taking time to plan but I’m very intrigued by women who wear skirts all the time. I’m just too lazy. There was a time when I guess that laziness would be really frowned upon.

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  1. I am always glad when light is shone on the wrongness of stereotypes of women! I had to wear skirts or dresses until I got to my senior year in h.s. But in college, I did like wearing the hippie long skirts and blue jeans, too! Smiles, Robin

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    • Did you go to Catholic school?

      It interests me that when I wear a skirt or dress I tend to behave differently–maybe I’m too influenced by what I wear. In the end I mostly wear jeans. In our town all the women show up at the pre-prom ceremony to see the girls’ gowns–the only men there are the sorta bored looking dads. I think it’s funny to watch my husband at those things. He hates them. I like them very much 🙂

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    • The only etiquette books I’ve read so far for men from the 19th century were training manuals for the military 🙂 I’ve read one whole book dedicated to military court martials of colonels etc. I guess men and women back then had high standards but often fell short of them. I am of the opinion that high standards are good because when you slip you don’t slip as far down.

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