Written by Zoe
(11/4/2003 12:33 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: It's like Pemberley, penned by Golda
] The more I read this book, the more I see how little some things have changed. Our health, economic, and social options have improved (in most cultures), but so much is still the same -- running the household, women helping each other and sharing information, a keen eye towards shopping and acquisition for the household, an interest in fashion (or not), entertaining, making social connections and reciprocating invitations, etc.
Yes, I was really struck by this while reading the last couple chapters. In reading JA's novels before, it seemed as if the social etiquette was so strict in those times. But, things are very much the same today. For instance, the part about paying compliments. It's still customary to inquire after shared acquaintences, especially if you know they have gone through a big life event. We still tell each other, "Tell Mary I said hi," or "Tell Mary congratulations on the baby," etc. Also, we still have the idea of reciprocal sociability and hospitality. If all of my friends continually have my husband and I over for dinner, I begin to feel as though I really ought to have a dinner party in return.
I think that we still have very similar ideas of how to be polite in society, they just aren't explicitly taught. It wasn't very clear to me from Vickery's explanation whether or not such etiquette was more explicitly outlined back then. She did mention the etiquette books, but it didn't seem like most of the women really read them -- they just knew the lingo and the moves from their upbringing.
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