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Friday, February 1, 2013

Visiting a Lady's Box: More Downton-Era Manners

Yes, I know... it's been well over a month. But would you rather I posted just for the sake of posting when I am muddled by fever with nothing much to say, or else am in a crappy mood and venting my misery? No one wants to read that stuff!

Since Downton Abbey's new season has everyone wailing and sobbing over the unfair loss of a young life, I thought I'd attempt to bring some period cheer to those mourning Downton fans with another short excerpt from my coveted Downton era vintage guidebook:
'Encyclopaedia of Etiquette: What To Do, What To Say, What To Write, What To Wear- A Book of Manners for Everyday Use' by the intimidatingly correct Miss Emily Holt.

I previously shared a hilarious snippet in which Miss Holt provides the great unwashed with her strict guidelines regarding proper dining behaviour. I'm sure she did not intend any of it to be the least bit funny, which is why it tickled me so... and why that post received such joyful commentary by some of my blog followers. If you missed it, you can find it here: Definitely worth a giggle.

As promised, here is a bit more from Miss Holt regarding manners at the theatre or opera-- and I for one find it unintentionally filthy.

Not all the action takes place onstage!

"A gentleman invited to enjoy the hospitality of a lady's box at the opera or theatre does not leave his hostess more than once and then only during an intermission, for but a few moments. He never remains out of her box during an act or even a part of it, and if called out, he returns before the act begins; and he must not leave her box at all, unless some other gentleman drops in to take his place for the moment he is away."

I know. I'm twelve. I have a dirty imagination, and I admit I can't help but read this like an excerpt from a Victorian pornographic novel... and envisioning the non-stop rampant servicing of ladies' boxes by a rotating mob of horny gentlemen, all while the rest of the hoi polloi attempts to enjoy the Verdi.

Lady Grantham would be outraged. But then again, when is she not?

By the way, I am all up-to-date on my Downton Abbey viewing, despite my North American location-- I subscribe to an on-line service and watch British TV live. If you thought *that* episode was sad... well, just wait and see.


  1. I am giggling to myself as if I was twelve as well haha, I am not sure that I would let another guy into my ladies box if I had to step a way though! Great post.

    1. Thanks, TJ- glad to know I'm not alone in being immature! ;) Hope all is well.