They were not to express opinions of their own to eligible gentlemen, and really ought not make too much eye contact or laugh out loud.
In Anthony Trollope’s Lady Glencora M' Cluskie rejects much of her relative’s dating advice and behaves scandalously with the notorious cad Burgo Fitzgerald, with whom she is madly in love. She should do what is best according to her family: marry the tedious Plantagenet Palliser. Young ladies in Victorian England were implored to stick to safe topics of conversation, like the weather and riding horses, a strategy that worked well enough for them until much of the British nobility started running dangerously low on money at the same time wealthy American families started sending their daughters to England in search of titled husbands.
Efficient and less humiliating than anything we have at our fingertips today.
On the other hand, a lot of the tried and true dating rules of the 19th century would not apply so well today.
We love Tasha's Lady Emily series, which just added However, today, Tasha and Ashley are going to toss aside the mystique for one day and share some tips they've learned about dating from history, after all you can't write romantic historicals without picking up a thing or two—and noticing that a few of these historical tips may still apply today. It’s such a delight to be here with the wonderfully talented Ashley Weaver, whose fabulously witty novels are some of my favorites!
As writers of historicals, we both face the challenges that come with trying to put ourselves in another time period.
It was socially acceptable to have your butler or a maid tell a visitor you were Everyone understood that you were, in fact at home.
This was a polite way of letting someone down without having to confront the person and ask him to leave you alone.
The shift could even be seen in a lot of the films of the decade, which heralded strong, confident women portrayed by actresses like Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, and Joan Crawford.
The women in many of these films were characters who often didn’t follow the traditional ideas of how relationships should develop.
Humorous now, it’s almost hard to believe that the writers of the piece were in earnest at the time in which it was written. flatter him by talking about things he wants to talk about.” “Any open show of affection is in bad taste, usually humiliates or embarrasses him.” “Don’t talk when dancing, for when a man dances he wants to dance.” “Men deserve, desire your entire attention.” While all of this might have made for a very pleasant date on the gentleman’s part, one can’t imagine it would have been a very enjoyable evening for the lady who was advised to keep her opinions to herself, talk only about things that were of interest to her date, and, in general, cater to his every whim.
Snippets of sage advice include: “Don’t talk about your clothes to your date . In some ways, it seems a reflection of that earlier mentality that, in order to be an ideal partner, a woman must lose something of herself, or, at the very least, keep from revealing too much of her true feelings.
Often contemporary opinions of the social mores of the past include a lot of laughter and eye-rolling. And while I agree with a certain amount of that—after all, there was a time in the 1890s when the most radical women’s rights group in the UK split when half of its members thought seeking the vote for ladies was going a step too far—I cannot say that all of their customs, bizarre though many of them are, wouldn’t be useful today, particularly when it comes to dating.