Posted by Patricia Bingham on January 14, 1998 at 22:25:56:
In response to A lots of questions on Visits, written by Constanza on January 09, 1998 at 15:36:05
] Was there any difference between morning visits and afternoon visits?
morning visits were not actually in the morning but in the early afternoon, though they did often refer to them as morning calls. The difference between a morning call and an afternnon call is simply a confusion of wording. Although calls were taken place after about 1pm, it was still called a morning call, morning being any time before dinner hours when the fashionable would attend parties and such. The information I can give you is basically for London, so I'm not sure if that will help you.
] Between what times one was supposed to pay a morning visit?
Before 1 pm only the very very intimate friend can presume to call. Some never even stirred until this time. From 3-4 is the hour which you might call upon someone you are not well acquainted with and you would never stay very long at all, likely not anymore than the time it would take you to leave your card with the butler or footman! Any sort of refreshments might be served but probably would not be.
4-5 is the hour you would visit someone you were better acquainted with but certainly not bosom buddies. Refreshments likely served. 5-6 is the hour you would call upon a very good friend and refreshments of some sort would certainly be served.
] Was prior introduction required? (Mr. Bennet goes to visit Bingley when he arrives at Netherfield, so I guess it wasn't)
It depends on how presumptuous the person is and the circumstances. Bingly, for instance, had only just arrived to the neighborhood and it would be fitting for Mr. Bennet to introduce himself and his family. Generally though, one should have some sort of introduction before marching into another's company, especially a lady. If Bingly had been the one to visit Mr. Bennet first, Bingly might have been perceived as a little strange.
] Who long did they usually last? (In "Cranford", it is said that visits should not last more than 15 minutes; otherwise they were ungenteel)
That's about right.
I hope that was helpful. You came to my rescue when I needed help with my floating islands!
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