Advice to Victorian Ladies

July 3, 2011 at 8:38 am (funny, Steampunk, Well written)

This is taken from a mid-book compilation by author Liza Picard, in Victorian London. Enjoy!

Advice to Ladies:

Most wind instruments are decidedly inelegant, they should be left to the gentlemen. Playing the violin-cello is of course out of the question, while the violin, while not so openly obscene, necessitates an awkward position of the head and neck which is not recommended. The piano-forte is an elegant woman’s best friend. There is room on a properly designed piano stool for two, in delightful proximity, when attempting pieces for four hands. Remember that if your companion stands up you may be deposited on the floor unless you stand at the same time. Pages need turning, by someone standing close behind you. This will be present to your mind when adjusting the neckline of your dress before a musical evening. Do not spare the application of perfume.

Never be in the company of an unmarried man alone, unless considerations such as the imminence of an acceptable proposal of marriage outweigh the normal rules. If about to faint with emotion, make sure there is a convenient sopha on which to subside. Not all gentlemen can be relied upon to catch a falling female in time.


When other peoples’ children are presented to you, express delight and admiration, no matter how unprepossessing the infants. Resist any temptation to call attention to their running noses, wet pantaloons, or digital nasal explorations. One can only hope that all these matters will be taken care of by some third party such as the nursemaid. Mothers are often blind to any imperfection in their offspring. Meanwhile try your utmost to avoid physical contact with them, combining an adroit management of your skirts with uninterrupted paeans of praise. Much the same applies to other peoples’ pets, with obvious amendments.


  1. Ann said,

    *snigger* ‘digital nasal explorations’

  2. W said,


    • Louise Curtis said,

      Liza Picard is the biz.

  3. The delicate business of husband-hunting « Louise Curtis said,

    […] Here is some of her section on how a Victorian lady should conduct herself – continued from last week: […]

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