MRS HUMPHRY. Manners for Women. London: James Bowden 1897.
(190 H x 100 W mm) viii, 156, (4) pp. Original pictorial cloth. Unusual size. Decorative boards (man in top hat greeting muff-carrying lady in dramatic red dress, with Toulouse-Lautrec style font). Minor punctures to the board. Headbands (top & bottom) chipped and some gatherings very loose, but still present. Overall GOOD condition.
Charlotte Eliza Humphry was busy in the late 19th century, writing Manners for Women, Manners for Men, How to Be Pretty Though Plain, The Century of Invalid Cookery Books, and other Ann Landers-style articles in serial publications, including “Truth”. From this, she derives her pen-name, “Madge” of “Truth” (her scarequotes, not mine). Born in Ireland in 1843, she was educated in Dublin, but moved to London where she took up the post of editor of Sylvia’s Journal, and eventually wrote “Girl’s Gossip” for Truth. When she started her career, there was very little space for female journalists, but she was one of the first and most influential and by the 1890s, journalism was considered an acceptable career for women (enter Nellie Bly in America).
In “Manners for Women,” Mrs. Humphry addresses important issues of etiquette such as the Bicycling Costume, Dress at Fashionable Restaurants, Dress at Weddings, (the ever important) Dress on the River, followed by Travelling Dress & Seaside and Country Dress. Various menus for important events are sampled, including for the Ascot Party & Boating Parties— most of these menus are, fashionably, in French, including “Thé et Café (chaud),” because Hot Tea and Coffee just aren’t as posh.