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February 18, 2008


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Camille Minichino

These "rules" are all nice and proper, Ann, but having read all of the Silver Rush series, I have to applaud Inez Stannert for her applying them selectively.
Cheers for those who make their own way!

Ann Parker

Thank you, Camille! And I agree... if all we had were protagonists who followed the "rules" consistently, we wouldn't have many mysteries in any subgenre -- historical, cozy, or otherwise!

Jane Finnis

Dear Auntie Victorian Manners,
My daughter has recently received a declaration of love from a very bold, undoubtedly presumptuous suitor. It was the first time he had met her, and he attributed his precipitate behaviour to the fact that he admired her blue, scarlet and purple ensemble. My immediate reaction was that the man must be quite unsuitable, so I should take my daughter travelling in Euorope. But now I have discovered that he has eighty million dollars to his name. What should I do?
Lady Jane

Ann Parker

Dear Lady Jane,
Eighty million dollars??? Take the money and run!
Pardon me.
We *are* talking etiquette here, not high finance, correct?
In that case ... (quickly regrouping and reaching for handy copy of "Our Deportment") ... here are some words on the "Requirements for a Happy Marriage":
"Respect for each other is as necessary to a happy marriage as that the husband and wife should have an affection for one another. Social equality, intellectual sympathy, and sufficient means are very important matters to be considered by those who contemplate matrimony."
I do believe "sufficient means" is covered, in your case. And, given that he apologized/explained his precipitate behaviour in such a charming manner suggests he has intellectual sympathy (or at least, is very fashion-aware ... an attribute not to be discounted in high society). Socially equal? Well, eighty thousand certainly levels the social playing ground ... this is America, we're talking about, correct? And he must have respect for your daughter or he would have, in his ardor, simply swept her away from you without an explanation or (heavens forbid!)a proposal. Certainly a man with eighty-million dollars (!) could easily do so.
In summary, Auntie Victorian Manners says that if there is respect and affection on both sides, give them your blessing, and take *yourself* on a celebratory trip to Europe for having effected a good match for your lovely daughter!
Best regards,
Auntie (Ann) Victorian Manners

Jane Finnis

Thank you, dear Auntie, for your wise advice. It clearly illustrates the benefits of etiquette, which shows us the rules that society expects us to follow, and also gives us guidance on how to break those rules if occasion demands!
Lady Jane

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