The 1830’s and 1840’s saw a fashion for manuals devoted to helping women fulfil their roles as both a wife and mother. The aim of these books was to stress the desirability of being the model wife in socially and domestically – advice that the modern reader may find alarmingly comical.
Respectability was everything and the key was knowing the correct etiquette. Published in 1834, ‘Hints on Etiquette and the Usages of Society, With a Glance at Bad Habits’, defined etiquette as:
“A shield against the intrusion of the impertinent, the improper and the vulgar….”
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