Saturday, July 1, 2017

Courtship Etiquette for Gentlemen

From Geri Walton:
Before a gentleman could even consider courting a woman, he had to have already met her or finagled an introduction through society’s proper channels. This might be accomplished through a mutual friend. If not, then his first consideration was how to get acquainted with the young woman, and this is where a gentleman’s investigative skills came into use. He would have to ascertain where she lived and then make discreet inquiries, respecting her family and avoiding compromising her name by not even mentioning it in the course of his inquiry. Then, hopefully, he could somehow work towards an introduction.

If that proved unproductive, his only other option was to get the lady to notice him by attending places she frequented and judging for himself “without speaking to his fair conqueror, — whether his further attentions would be distasteful to her.” If his advances appeared acceptable, he could make “the first deliberate step on the Ladder of Matrimony,” by writing to the woman’s father or guardian and stating “his position in life and prospects, as well as mention his family, [and] request permission … to visit the family as a preliminary to paying his addresses to the object of his admiration.” (Read more.)

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