~ Pre -revolution
~Fashion in Les Mis
~Economic and Social
in Les Mis
Century ~18th Century
~19th Century ~Versailles
~Casinos and Salons
~Etiquette ~Restaurants ~Opéra
forget that at a dinner, as on all occasions of hospitality,
it is your chief duty to relieve the hostess from every annoyance
or care. It must not be imagined that the dinner is simply
given for the purpose of giving a gross and purely material
pleasure. It puts you in company with persons of consideration,
and giver you an opportunity to display your intelligence,
or to cause your good qualities to be appreciated." -
Baron De Mortemat Boisse from Ward
The images below
are used to reinforce the main point of the social climbing bourgeoisie
- that they studied and adhered too every nuance of etiquette in
order to fully assume that certain noble air - because differences
in etiquette transcend time. That fact that these images are from
different time periods, different countries even, does not matter
because what is being compared is not etiquette through time but
general differences in behavior.
on pictures for source information)
first glance one notices the chaos in this picture. People
are standing, siting, laying on the floor. Everything is
in motion and unruly.
table is in the middle and it is covered, which implies
refinement. However, there is one huge bowl that everyone
is eating from and that is the sole source of nourishment.
Because there are no utensils, napkins, candles, or glasses
guests are not regulated.
guests appear to be disheveled and intoxicated; wigs are
askew, coats are unbuttoned. The man in front is on the
floor. This implies a careless attitude toward decorum but
not a protest against it because they are dressed richly
- it is more like they are behaving this way because they
is small this might indicate more of an emphasis on conversation
that food - typical of the time.
dog in the front is eating off a plate which implies excess
and civility for even the dog eats on a plate.
man and woman seated are siting up straight and use napkins.
The man is eating with his hands but very delicately, and
indication of refinement
servants are on hand to attend to the needs of the eaters
which is a symbol of wealth and domination -even at repose
these people still command.
soon as seated, remove your gloves, place your table-napkin
partly open across your lap, your gloves under it, and your
roll on the left hand side of your plate" ~ 156.
seldom take cheese at dinner parties, or wine at dessert.
Cheese is eaten with a fork, and not with a knife" ~163.
play with food, nor mince with your bread, no handle the glass
and silver near you unnecessarily" ~ 163.
mouth should always be kept closed in eating, both eating
and drinking should be noiseless" ~162
soup-plate should never be tilted for the last spoonful"
are eaten with a fork" ~162
is broken at dinner" ~162
on picture for source)
one can refuse when asked to drink to another's health - fasten
your eye upon the eye of the honored, bow the head slightly,
touch the wine to you lips, and again bow before setting down
the glass. The mouth should always be wiped with the napkin
both before and after drinking" ~163.
and fruit are eaten with silver knives and forks. If silver
fish-knives are not provided, a piece of bread in the left
and answers the purpose as well, with a fork in the right"
quotes taken from Ward
can be taken up with the fingers, is so preferred. Olives
and artichokes are always so eaten" ~162
For some specific
information concerning menus and restaurants go to
Restaurants and the French Revolution