Under Construction! Chapters 1-16 completed.

Manners, Culture and Dress of the Best American Society

by  Richard A. Wells, A.M.    Introduction by Rev. Willard E. Waterbury    King, Richardson & Co., Publishers
Springfield, Mass.         Des Moines, Iowa.    1891

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Chapter 1  - Introductory
Chapter 2  - Entrance into Society
Chapter 3  - Introductions
Chapter 4  - Salutations
Chapter 5  - Social Intercourse
Chapter 6  - Conversations
Chapter 7  - Visits
Chapter 8  - Dinner Parties and Balls
Chapter 9  - Street Etiquette
Chapter 10 -Riding and Driving
Chapter 11 - Travelers and Traveling
Chapter 12 - Etiquette of Public Places
Chapter 13 - Letters and Letter Writing
Chapter 14 - Laws of Business and Legal Forms
Chapter 15 - Self-Culture
Chapter 16 - Advantages of Wedlock
Chapter 17 - Courtship and Marriage
Chapter 18 - The Home
Chapter 19 - Domestic Etiquette and Duties
Chapter 20 - Table Etiquette
Chapter 21 - Miscellaneous Rules of Etiquette
Chapter 22 - Washington Etiquette
Chapter 23 - Business
Chapter 24 - Anniversary Weddings
Chapter 25 - Funerals
Chapter 26 - Dress
Chapter 27 - Harmony of Color in Dress
Chapter 28 - The Toilette
Chapter 29 - Beauty and Its Expression
Chapter 30 - Servants
Chapter 31 - Home Decorations
Chapter 32 - Amusements
Chapter 33 - Etiquette With Children
Chapter 34 - Etiquette For Baptism
Chapter 35 - Etiquette of the Studio
Chapter 36 - Precious Stones
Chapter 37 - Flowers and Their Sentiments
Chapter 38 - Window Gardening
Chapter 39 - Care and Culture of Plants
Chapter 40 - Furnishing The Home
Chapter 41 - Books
Chapter 42 - Toilet Recipes


Manners constitute the language in which the biography of every individual is written.

There is no one subject of today which embodies more practical interest to people in general, than a knowledge of the rules, usages and ceremonies of good society.

A lack of this knowledge is felt by almost every individual, whether in the city or country, at home or abroad.

The politeness is not a code of superficial rules, arranged and trimmed up for particular occasions, and then set aside at our pleasure.

Polite manners and true culture are expressions of the heart, and have their foundation in the Golden Rule.

If this rule is not the guide of our life, then our politeness is entirely superficial, an void of naturalness.

Nature is always graceful; fashion, with all her art and glitter can never produce anything half so pleasing. The very perfection of elegance is to imitate nature; how much better to have the reality than the imitation. Anxiety about the opinions of others always fetters our freedom and tends to awkwardness. We would always appear well if we never tried to assume what we do not possess.

Madame Celnart says: “The grand secret of never-failing propriety of good manners and culture is to have an intention of always doing right.”

There are persons who seem to possess the instinct  of courtesy to so high a degree as to require no instruction or practice in order to be perfectly polite, easy and graceful.

Most people, however, require some rules as to the best and most appropriate manner of expressing that which they may feel.

In the cultivation of heart and developing character, Rules of Etiquette are essential.

To acquire a thorough knowledge of these matters, and to put that knowledge into practical use with perfect ease and freedom, is what people call “good breeding.”

In the preparation of this work, the object has been to present the rules and usages which govern and mould the most refined society of America, and to impart that information by which any one may be enabled to acquire the perfect ease of a gentleman, or the gentler manners of a well-bred lady, so that their presence will be sought for, and they will not only learn that great art of being thoroughly at home in all society, but will possess that rarer gift of making every one around the feel easy, contented and happy.

The work is carefully arranged into chapters, every subject divided and classified, making it perfectly easy to turn at once to ay subject desired.

It has been our aim to give, in a concise form, all that is properly embraced in a comprehensive work on Etiquette; also to cultivate the heart as well as the mind, and produce a well rounded symmetrical character.


-The Author