Dating and courtship in france
For that reason, one etiquette book noted that a gentleman should be “decidedly respectful” toward a woman’s parents, and, because the nature of courtship required an exaggeration of a person’s good qualities and a person’s manners, they were to be above reproach.
Mothers, in particular, watched “with a jealous care the tendencies of their daughter’s affections.” If for some reason she found a gentleman unacceptable, the advice to the mother was to try to turn her daughter’s head by finding a more suitable person.
If that failed, parents were advised to provide their daughter with a “change of scene and surroundings by travel or visiting.” However, if parents determined the suitor acceptable, “then the most scrupulous rules of etiquette [would] not object to their letting the young couple [spend some time] alone.” A gentleman first and foremost was to “be thoroughly honest” and never strive to be something he was not.
If he was a willful deceiver, he was bound to be detected at some point, and one etiquette expert noted that if that happened, how would a gentleman expect a woman to continue to love and trust him?
He could not pay exclusive attention to any particular woman unless he was serious and wanted to pursue marriage, and he could not attend church with a woman regularly, give her costly presents, or be her constant escort unless he had serious intentions.
If he neglected “all others to [solely] devote himself to a single lady he [gave] that lady reason to suppose he [was] particularly attracted to her …
It was not uncommon for women of this time to work as seamstresses, embroiderers or laundry maids.
These occupations allowed them to remain in the home while also providing a supplemental income.
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.character, making some new and favorable impression, if possible at each interview.” Once a gentlemen found a woman he wanted to court, one book provided a specific list for him to win her over.The book noted there that “certain requisites of the masculine character” needed to be used to successfully woo the female sex.The conclusion was that “if you prize your own happiness … Better that you underestimate.” On the other hand, a gentleman was to make himself as attractive as possible and use every power he possessed, whether it be attractiveness of manner, physical characteristics, education, money, position, skill, or strength, because “to do less would be injustice to yourself; to do more, would be injustice to others.” Gentlemen were also advised to never “give your best impression at …first.” The reason for this was because supposedly a suitor acquired an advantage by allowing “to unfold gradually the adornments of …