~ Pre -revolution
~Fashion in Les Mis
~Economic and Social
in Les Mis
Century ~18th Century
~19th Century ~Versailles
~Casinos and Salons
~Etiquette ~Restaurants ~Opéra
receive an invitation like this one on the left is every
social climbing bourgeoisie's' ultimate goal, for it is
an invitation to a Royal Ball. But once received how does
one conduct oneself at this gathering?
on picture for source information)
women are introduced to women a slight inclination of the
body, a smile, and an appropriate remark are proper.
introduced to a woman a man should bow, make a pleasant observation
and, if the hostess is not known to him, express gratitude
at the introduction.
Introduced to a guest
women is introduced to a guest either by the Hostess or her
companion. Both must gain her permission before introductions
are made. If the guest is a woman the above applies, if the
guest is a married man the woman should receive him with a
pleasant remark, if the guest is an unmarried man than the
woman smiles and repeats his name.
a casual encounter no formal introductions are necessary between
men but the men should shake hands. However, at a ball it
is proper to be formal. When a man is introducing an unmarried
man to unmarried female he first gains her permission and
only then does he he remark: "M. Dufault desires to be
introduced to Mlle. Havilland
dance most revered at this time was the minuet. A complicated but
beautiful dance, it was the hallmark of a refined member of society.
Of course the bourgeoisie studied the dance - it would be uncivilized
if they did not know the proper dances. Just as there was to every
encounter, there is a certain accepted way to begin the dance. Persons
of gracious manners followed these dictates to the letter.
on picture for its source)
usually never asks a gentlemen to dance, instead she waits for
an invitation from him. A man must first ask permission of the
lady herself, or her chaperone, to dance and if granted he must
keep his appointment.
round dances the man supports the woman with his right arm around
the waist, taking care not to hold her too closely. Her right
hand is extended, held by his left hand, and her left hand is
on his arm or shoulder, her head erect" (Green
the end of each dance, the lady's partner will offer his arm,
and conduct her to her to a seat; then bow, and she releases
him from further attendance, as he may be engaged for the next
dance" (Hartley 168)