02 January 2007

More on Being a Gentleman


"The true gentleman is one who has been fashioned after the highest models...his qualities depend not on fashion or manners but upon moral worth--not on personal possessions but upon personal qualities" - Happy Homes and the Hearts that Make Them, 1882
I have found another page on "How to be a Gentleman", from an actor's website, and focusing on the 1800's to the turn of the century. It is called "The Gentleman's Page," and contains internal links to pages concerning such subjects as General Behaviour, Deportment, Foreign Observations on, Ladies, Table Manners, Greetings, Calling, Visiting Cards, The Ballroom, The West, Vice and Humor, as well as pages on the attire of a gentleman of this period. The quotes used in the pages come from actual etiquette books of the 19th century. "This site is maintained by the Lively Arts History Association, a California non-profit corporation," - links provided on the page. A reading from the general behaviour page:
"The manners of the 19th Century, as expressed in etiquette books, do contain many elaborate social rituals which seem a bit quaint to us moderns, but the vast majority of their space is devoted to what would seem to be common sense rules like "Don't chew with your mouth open" or "Don't interrupt people" or "Don't be a lot of bother when you are a house guest". Two things may be drawn from this. First, there must have been a lot of people back then (just as there are today) who lacked "common courtesy" and needed to be told such things, and second, if you wish to portray a refined 19th Century American, just do the things your mama taught you, and you are more than half way there already. Perhaps the rest of this website will help you get you over the other half."
Photo from the designer's own page, at http://walternelson.com/
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Here are a few gentlemen's websites and blogs that I found in my "research":
What is a Gentleman?, an 1872 article, reported in Victorian Station
The Gentleman's Blog, an older blog, not updated since Sept. 2006
Gentelman, definition and more from Answers.com
Gentleman, information from Wikipedia
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