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This book was sent to me by Pen and Sword Books in exchange for an honest review.
Elegant Etiquette in the Nineteenth Century by Mallory James is a compact little book published last month. (To be published in the US in March.)
This book covers the do’s and don’ts of living in high society during the 1800s and features handy examples of social situations in every chapter. The eleven chapters cover behavior at dinner and balls, writing correspondence, tips exclusively for ladies and tips for the gents and more.
This book is a must-have reference for novelists new to writing historical romance based in the Regency or Victorian era, particularly if their characters are socializing with the upper crust members of society.
The book is obviously well-researched, citing several etiquette guides published during the 19th century, used by the very people who followed the rules within them.
Elegant Etiquette also features several glossy black and white photos of 19th century garments and accessories, a perfect addition to the chapter on etiquette relating to fashion.
My one criticism of this book is the formatting. Since this book is likely to be used as a reference guide for many, I would like to have seen the content divided by bold headers in order to make certain content easier to find. Thankfully, the index is well-stocked with key words so historical fiction authors will make good use of it.
If you want more 19th-century goodness, check out my historical fiction novel, The Spirited Mrs. Pringle now available on paperback and at all major ebook retailers. (Audiobook coming soon.)