The audiobook was nice as I tend to get hung up on names of places I can't pronounce correctly and initially I found the story interesting but aroundThe audiobook was nice as I tend to get hung up on names of places I can't pronounce correctly and initially I found the story interesting but around disc...four maybe, it *really* started to lose my interest. I did finish it and there were things I genuinely liked about it but the narrative just dragged in the middle to the point that I had to force myself to put that last disc in. ...more
As I was reading I couldn't help wondering how much of a challenge it was for people to keep all of the rules and guidelines for etiquette and politeAs I was reading I couldn't help wondering how much of a challenge it was for people to keep all of the rules and guidelines for etiquette and polite behavior in practice at all times. There are so many and some are very nuanced. I know I'd be stressed and am glad not all of them survived the test of time. Having been written in 1860, it provides some insight on social norms I found rather interesting, some in a mildly alarming way, i.e. the following:
"To be in the fashion, an Englishman must wear six pairs of gloves in a day: In the morning, he must drive his hunting wagon in reindeer gloves. In hunting, he must wear gloves of chamois skin. To enter London in his tilbury, beaver skin gloves. Later in the day, to promenade in Hyde Park, colored kid gloves, dark. When he dines out, colored kid gloves, light. For the ballroom, white kid gloves. (Read elsewhere, "perfectly spotless" and be replaced immediately if soiled.) Thus his yearly bill for gloves alone will amount to a most extravagant sum."
With others, I couldn't understand why they would constitute a lack of etiquette.
"Do not stop to join a crowd who are collected round a street show, or street merchant, unless you wish to pass for a countryman taking a holiday in the city." (I mean, what if it's very well preformed?)
What I found to be most interesting is that really, the heart of manners is the desire to be considerate of the feelings of others and practice kindness. One could preform all the nuances of etiquette and yet not be regarded as courteous and well-mannered should they fail in being mindful in their treatment of others. It's nice to know that despite 150 years that principle still has relevance today. Hopefully it will manage to remain so. ...more
It's interesting how something that seems fairly trivial has had such a significant impact throughout history. It was a new experience for me followinIt's interesting how something that seems fairly trivial has had such a significant impact throughout history. It was a new experience for me following an item's story through the centuries instead of a person or event and it was a lot of fun because cochineal has been around for so long you get a greater historical scope in one story. ...more