Victorian etiquette: 14 rules for men on etiquette in the parlor (1889)

Note: This article may feature affiliate links to or other companies. Qualifying purchases made via these links may earn us a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more here.

By Nathan B Medbery, author “Social Etiquette”

Etiquette topic: Which treats of etiquette in the parlor

14 simple suggestions on conduct for gentlemen

Victorian etiquette: 14 rules for men on etiquette in the parlorNumber 1 — Avoid self-consciousness. Be so thoughtful of the comfort and happiness of others that you have no time to think of yourself and your appearance.

Number 2 — In making an introduction, present gentlemen to ladies, young men to elderly men, and young women to elderly women.

Number 3 — Should you be asked to play or sing, do not refuse unless you do not wish to perform. Do not refuse simply for the purpose of being coaxed; it does not appear well.

Number 4 — Do not try to monopolize the conversation or talk in a loud tone.

Number 5 — It is not polite to whisper in company; reserve what you have to say for another occasion.

Number 6 — Avoid talking about yourself or about affairs which interest you only, do not talk about your ill health or your afflictions of any kind.

Number 7 — Don’t interrupt; it shows lack of respect, and is extremely rude.

Number 8 — Difference of opinion is one thing, contradiction is another. While the first is no cause of offense, the second is highly improper.

Number 9 — When you have a story to tell, tell it in a concise manner; do not go into every detail and branch off at every word — be direct, compact, clear, and get to the point as soon as you can.

Number 10 — While observing the above rule do not be so rude as to interrupt another in his story, however long or tiresome it may be.

Number 11 — Be pleasant and affable; do not respond in monosyllables, this usually puts a damper on the feelings of the one who is talking with you.

Number 12 — Do not be impatient or appear listless or indifferent when others are talking. Make it a point to have the appearance of being interested in the conversation.

MORE  Going up in style: 20 gorgeous ornate antique elevators

Number 13 — Show particular attention to elderly people. Nothing shows a better heart or is a better sign of good breeding than kindly attention to those advanced in years.

Number 14 — When you are in company do not open a book and begin reading to yourself. This is disrespectful to the company.

>> Also see: Victorian etiquette: 16 rules for men on dress and personal habits (1889)


More stories you might like

See our books

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

join the fun

Don’t miss out on the latest and greatest vintage stuff!

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter here.