19th Century Etiquette for Australians

From the Etiquette Library-


Table Manners & Etiquette for Australians, 1885

It is of the highest importance that all persons should conduct themselves with the strictest  regard to good breeding, even in the privacy of their own homes, when at table ; a neglect of such observances will render one stiff and awkward in society. There  are so many little points to be observed, that unless a person  is habitually accustomed to observe them, he unconsciously commits some error, or will appear awkward and constrained upon occasions when it is important to be fully at ease. To be thoroughly at ease at such times is only acquired by the habitual practice of good manners at the table, and is the result of proper home training. 

It is the duty of parents to accustom their children, by example as well as by precept, to be attentive and polite to each other at every meal, as well as to observe proper rules of etiquette, and if they do so, they need never fear that they will be rude or awkward when they go abroad. Even when persons habitually eat alone, they should pay due regard to the rules of etiquette, for by so doing they form habits of ease and gracefulness which are requisite in refined circles...

Tea Calling-Card Australian Etiquette, 1885

It is the duty of the hostess to see that the ladies are accompanied to the piano ; that the leaves of the music are turned for them, and that they are conducted to their seats again. When not intimately acquainted with them, the hostess should join in expressing gratification. The dress at a musical matinee is the same as at a reception, only bonnets are more generally dispensed with. Those who have taken part, often remain for a hot supper.

Parties in the Country

Morning and afternoon parties in the country, or at watering-places, are of a less formal character than in cities. The hostess introduces such of her guests as she thinks most likely to be mutually agreeable. Music or some amusement is essential to the success of such parties.

Sunday Hospitalities

In this country it is not expected that persons will call after informal hospitalities extended on Sunday. All gatherings on that day ought to be informal. No dinner parties are given on Sunday, or. at least, they are not considered as good form in good society.


  1. Very nice! I like all of these passages from the books. Especially on ethics. very timely. :)


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