While many bemoan the lack of good manners in society today, the most courteous among us would feel mightily out of place across the dining table from a Dowager Countess. Upholding the highest standards of social decorum was of utmost importance for the 1920s British upper class and even more so for the aspiring middle class that sought to emulate it. Yet the path to perfect comportment seemed strewn—then as now—with pitfalls, from befuddling arrays of silverware to less-than-gracious houseguests. Originally published in the 1920s, the petite guides in the Bodleian Library’s series offer time-honored advice to avoid such pitfalls.
The Art of Letter Writing provides more than fifty examples of well-crafted correspondence that will lend confidence whether one needs to break off an engagement, accept an invitation to a country house weekend, complain about a courier, or write to a countess.
Charmingly presented, The Art of Good Letter Writing is by turns humorously old-fashioned and timeless, and it makes the perfect gift for all who miss this elegant bygone era.