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Ne’er Suck on Your Ivory Parasol Handle and other Etiquette Edicts

1 February, 2018

Florence Hartley, author of the 1870 book The Ladies Book and Etiquette and Manual of Politeness, had some rather harsh words for uncouth ladies in her chapter ‘Conduct on the Street’:

Angry advice


What is this business about the parasol? Was it a common sight to see a woman on the street sucking on her parasol handle? Ms. Hartley further warns against matching a scarlet shawl with a green dress (my heavens! A green dress ought to be paired with either a white or black shawl), and against wearing mock jewelry (‘utterly detestable’!), One rule with which the Author agrees most heartily is: “if you do stop in the street, draw near the walls, that you may not keep others from passing’. Many pedestrians in New York City ought to heed this advice.

Ms. Hartley does impart some advice that the Author would not endorse, such as applying muriatic acid to remove corns. Muriatic is more commonly known as hydrochloric acid and used for the pickling of steel.

Dear Reader, if you feel you could benefit from more of Ms. Hartley’s etiquette advice, you may read on here:

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Dadork permalink
    2 February, 2018 7:18 am

    There is another excellent reason of abstaining from the habit of sucking on parasol handles, which you may discover (in a whole other Victorian tome) , especially when riding in a horse drawn conveyance on cobble stones (see “Motley – Prose and Verse – Grave and Gay, by Cuthbert Bede”)

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