November 21, 2010

Invitation to dance, by Madge

Mrs Humphry (“Madge”) writes in Every Woman's Encyclopaedia in 1910 that it is now acceptable to "summon their friends by telephone a day or two before" when inviting them to a dance (p.371).  Social rules about the amount of written notice you need give in advance are now more relaxed.

Still harping on about calling cards, there is an amusing anecdote in the next pages, again by "Madge", about a colonial couple returning home.  They mistakenly gave out ornate, gilt-edged visiting cards (which were customary in the colonies) to acquaintances, on their return to Britain.  Despite being perfectly decent people, they were dropped like a hot potato by polite society for this faux pas.  British conservativeness on the matter of visiting cards tolerates no taint of originality.

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Digital Telephone Book by Elizabeth Chairopoulou is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.