Pleasures and Pastimes of the Bourgeoisie


The Bourgeoisie and the Outdoors
~ Pre -revolution

~Fashion in Les Mis

~Rise in Popularity
~Economic and Social Symbolism
~Representation in Les Mis

Gardens ~17th Century ~18th Century ~19th Century ~Versailles

Gambling ~Pre-Revolutionary ~Cafés & Cercles

Opéra & Theatre
~The Revolution
~Social Status
~Les Misérables

Etiquette ~Promenade ~Dances ~Dinner ~Casinos and Salons

Bibliography ~Fashion ~Etiquette ~Restaurants ~Opéra ~Picture Bibliography


The Promenade


For the Bourgeoisie who frequented the beautiful gardens of France, the promanard was a place to demonstrate their social superiority. There, admist the beauty of nature, the social climbing bourgeoisie's' clothes, their jewels and their impeccable manners could be seen and hopefully admired by others.

(click on the picture for source information)

In this image all the social classes are seen. The nobility are strolling in the center. There is a poor mother and child in the lower right washing clothing. The bourgeoisie are in the far right; the woman is siting while the man is at her back. The classes are identified by differences in dress. Though the group in the center and the group sitting down are better dressed, both groups are clearly better dressed than the washerwoman and her child. The date of this particular image is unknown, however, it can be hypothesized that this image was created before the French Revolution of 1782 because the nobility are in the center of the painting; post-'82 revolution the nobility's position in society was drastically changed for the worse.

Etiquette of the Promenade
While strolling a gentleman should always acknowledge an acquaintance, it is rude not to. That acknowledgment should be quiet and courteous for a gentleman should not be loud and obnoxious. If the acquaintance is a lady he should bow, but only after she has acknowledged him. After a brief conversation with a Lady on the street at gentleman should bow and then raise his hat. It is proper for a gentleman to acknowledge an elderly man or an official with a bow.
While strolling a Lady should be reserved and demure, it is not proper to talk or laugh loudly as it attracts negative attention. If a lady passes a female friend she should acknowledge her with slight bow and smile, a kiss is also permitted. If a lady passes an acquaintance more than once during her promenade it is not necessary for her to repeat her greeting. Since is it the lady's place to chose who she will and will not recognize she should first bow to the gentlemen she wishes to acknowledge. If walking after dark a lady should take a gentleman's right arm. Ladies walking together should not walk more than two abreast, it is not proper to obstruct the walkway.