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"The rules and suggestions for courtship and romance occupy most of the space in Victorian etiquette and letter writing books.Near the end of the section there is generally one curt letter of refusal to a marriage proposal."The rules and suggestions for courtship and romance occupy most of the space in Victorian etiquette and letter writing books.

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In search of ways to occupy his evenings when his pocket money was limited, he often fell in with other fellows like himself.

It is curious that the same letter writing volume contains a form for a letter between young men-about-town which has the seeds for disaster on which the three foregoing letters touch: "My dear Lloyd.

They were exposed to temptations unknown to most of their fathers in a society more restrictive than that which their sons would enjoy.

Women were at even more of a disadvantage in that restrictive society as they still could not seek out men or make "the first move." Their prerogative was, as was often quoted, "but to accept or decline".

They revered courtship and love, despite their strict moral code and rules of etiquette.

To gatherings, young women were chaperoned, usually by their mothers or some other married woman, to ensure nothing 'improper' occurred.

by the publishing house of Dick & Fitzgerald of New York presents more letter forms for refusing a proposal than it presents for encouraging a suitor!

To readers today the index titles for these letters sound wildly humorous.

The short paragraph headed "Refusal on the grounds of dislike" is important information to a historian today for what it reveals about the life of men in 1879.

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