Quotes on the love of books.

Diane Kalas, Inspirational Historical Romance Author

"I cannot live without books."
Thomas Jefferson (Author of the Declaration of Independence)

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Diane's Antique Book Collection

Introduction in the street.- Should you, whilst walking with your friend, meet an acquaintance, it is better not to stop to speak, but merely recognize by a bow the one thus met; if you do stop to speak, do not introduce your friend.

            If you meet a gentleman walking with a lady, take off your hat to him, instead of nodding; as this last familiar mode of recognition looks disrespectful towards her.

Thornwell, Emily, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO COMPLETE ETIQUETTE, New York, Belford, Clarke & Company, 1884

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Diane's Antique Book Collection
Introduction by letter.- A lady who receives a letter introducing a gentleman, may answer it by a note to the bearer, inviting him to pay a morning or evening visit. You should not remark to a gentleman, “I am very happy to make your acquaintance,” because it should be considered a favor for him to be presented to you, therefore the remark should come rather from him.

There cannot be a more awkward situation for both parties than for one person to be waiting whilst the other is reading a letter, with the endeavor to discover who the stranger may be, or a position in which the bearer looks so foolish, or feels so uncomfortable. Then comes the bow, a cold shake of the hand, with the few civil words of course, and all because you come upon a stranger unawares. Therefore, give him time to read the letter you have been furnished with, by sending it instead of presenting it in person, thus forcing yourself upon him whether he will or no. He will then have time to consider how he may best show his regard for your introducer by his attentions to yourself.

Observe that letters of introduction are never scaled by well-bred people; the seal of the writer is attached to the envelope, requiring only a little wax to close it, at the option of the person to whom it is confided.

Thornwell, Emily, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO COMPLETE ETIQUETTE, New York, Belford, Clarke & Company, 1884

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Diane's Antique Book Collection


Mode and manner, use of titles, etc., in personal introductions.-We presume there can be no better authority on this and kindred points, than that accomplished lady and authoress, Miss Leslie, whose directions are – in introducing a gentleman to a lady, address her first, as for instance – “Miss Smith, permit me to make you acquainted with Mr. Jones” – or, “Mrs. Furley, allow me to present Mr. Wilson” – that is, you must introduce the gentleman to the lady, rather than the lady to the gentleman. Also, if one lady is married and the other single, present the single lady to the matron, - “Miss Thomson, let me introduce you to Mrs. Williams.” It is in good taste to mention the name of the town or city to which either may belong, as “Mrs. Stephens, of Boston” – “Mr. Warren, of New Orleans.”

In introducing a foreigner, it is proper to present him as “Mr. Howard, from England” – Mr. Dupont, from France.” If you know of what European city he is a resident, it is better still to say that he is “from London” – “from Paris.”

Likewise, in traducing one of your own countrymen, recently returned from a distant part of the world, make him known as “Mr. Davis, just from China” – “Mr. Edwards, lately from Spain” – or “Mr. Gordon, recently from South America.”

These slight specifications are easily made; and they afford, at once, an opening for conversation between the two strangers, as it will be perfectly natural to ask “the late arrived,” something about the country he has last visited, or at least about his voyage.

When presenting a member of Congress, mention the State to which he belongs, as “Mr. Hunter, of Virginia” – “Mr. Chase, of Ohio,” etc. Recollect that both senators and gentlemen of the House of Representatives are members of Congress – Congress including the two legislative bodies. In introducing a governor, designate the State he governs – as, “Governor Penington, of New Jersey.” For the chief magistrate of the republic, say simply “The President.”

In introducing members of your own family, always mention, audibly, the name. It is not sufficient to say “my father,” or “my mother” – “my son” – “my daughter” – “my brother” – or “my sister.” There may be more than one surname in the same family. But say, “my father, Mr. Warton” – “my daughter, Miss Wood” – or “my daughter-in-law, Mrs. Wood” – “my sister, Miss Mary Ramsay” – “my brother, Mr. James Ramsay,” etc. It is best in all these things to be explicit. The eldest daughter is usually introduced by her surname only – as “Miss Bradford” – her younger sisters, as “Miss Maria Bradford” – “Miss Harriet Bradford.”

In presenting a clergyman put the word “Reverend” before his name – unless he is a bishop, and then, of course, the word bishop suffices. The head of a college-department introduce as “Professor,” and it is to them only that the title properly belongs, through arrogated by all sorts of public exhibitors, mesmerists and jugglers included.

Thornwell, Emily, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO COMPLETE ETIQUETTE, New York, Belford, Clarke & Company, 1884

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Diane's Antique Book Collection


Receiving visitors.-When we see persons enter, whether announced or not, we rise immediately, advance towards them, request them to sit down, avoiding however the old form of, “Take the trouble to be seated.” If it is a young man, we offer him an arm-chair, or a stuffed one; if an elderly man, we insist upon his accepting the arm-chair; if a lady, we beg her to be seated upon the ottoman.

            If the gentleman of the house receive the visitors he will take a chair and place himself at a little distance from them; if, on the contrary, it is the lady of the house, and she is intimate with the lady who visits her, she will place herself near her. If several ladies come at a time, we give this last place to the one most distinguished by rank.

            In winter, the most honorable places are those at the corner of the fireplace; in proportion as they place you in front of the fire, your seat is considered inferior in rank. Moreover, when it happens to be a respectable married lady, and one to whom we wish to do honor, we take her by the hand and conduct her to the corner of the fireplace. If this place is occupied by a young lady, she should rise and offer her seat to the married lady, taking for herself a chair in the middle of the circle.

            If a lady who receives a half ceremonious visit is sewing, she ought to leave off immediately, and not resume it except at the request of the visitor. If they are on quite intimate terms, she ought herself to request permission to continue. If a person visits in an entirely ceremonious way, it would be very impolite to work even an instant. Moreover, even with friends, we should hardly be occupied with our work, but should seem to forget it on their account.

 Propriety of movement and general demeanor in company.-To look steadily at any one, especially if you are a lady and are speaking to a gentleman;; to turn the head frequently on one side and the other during conversation; to balance yourself upon your chair; to bend forward; to strike your hands upon your knees; to hold one of your knees between your hands locked together; to cross your legs; to extend your feet on the andirons; to admire yourself with complacency in a glass; to adjust, in an affected manner, your cravat, hair, dress, or handkerchief; to remain without gloves; to fold carefully your shawl, instead of throwing it with graceful negligence upon a table; to fret about a hat which you have just left off; to laugh immoderately; to place your hand upon the person with whom you are conversing; to take him by the buttons, the collar of his cloak, the cuffs, the waist, etc.; to seize any person by the waist or arm, or to touch their person; to roll the eyes or to raise them with affectation; to take snuff from the box of your neighbor, or to offer it to strangers, especially to ladies; to play continually with your chain or fan; to beat time with the feet and hands; to whirl round a chair with your hand; to shake with your feet the chair of your neighbor; to rub your face or your hands; wink your eyes; shrug up your shoulders; stamp with you feet; etc. – all these bad habits, of which we cannot speak to people, are in the highest degree displeasing.

            In a circle, we should not pass before a lady, neither should we present anything by extending the arm over her, but pass round behind and present it. In case we cannot do it, we say, I ask your pardon, etc. To a question, which we do not fully comprehend, we never answer, Ha! What? But, Be so good as, etc. Pardon me, I did not understand.

Thornwell, Emily, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO COMPLETE ETIQUETTE, New York, Belford,
            Clarke & Company, 1884