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Society & Social Events

Behaving properly at social events was both vitally important and, for many, seriously confusing. Hence, many articles sought to help the Victorian woman understand how to behave, entertain, and otherwise handle social events. See also the Etiquette section.


Etiquette for Ladies and Girls, by Ardern Holt (GOP 1880)
On calling and card-leaving.
The Etiquette of Card-Leaving, by S.F.A. Caulfield (GOP 1895)
A lovely piece not only on how cards should be presented, but how one should include one's name, title (if any), address, etc. (and why omitting "Miss or Mrs." is "bad form"), what cards ought to look like, and more!


How to Provide for a Children's Party, by Phillis Browne (GOP 1882)
My "At Home" and How I Managed It (GOP 1885)
Includes a number of recipes for entertaining.
New Ideas for Teas, by Fred Miller (GOP 1902 )
A variety of party games and entertainments for a tea party.
Social Events in a Girl's Life: Literary Dinners, by La Petite (GOP 1897)
Madge Vaughan's First Dinner Party, by C.E.C. Weigall (GOP 1891)
An outline of how to host a party, with a variety of recipes.


An Afternoon Wedding, by Mary Pocock (GOP 1898)
Includes several recipes and a gorgeous full-color print of a wedding party.
How Girls May Entertain Their Friends, by Ruth Lamb (GOP 1882)
My Sister's Wedding, and How We Organized It, by Janet Haddon (GOP 1882)
My Sister's Wedding, and How We Organized It, (GOP 1893)
Social Events in a Girl's Life: Reminiscences of a Bridesmaid, by La Petite (GOP 1898)
Wedding "At Homes" for People of Small Incomes, by C.E.C. Weigall (GOP 1891)
Includes a number of lovely recipes.


An Evening at Court, by Lady William Lennox (GOP 1902)
How Girls Are Presented at Court, by Ardern Holt (GOP 1880)
Social Events in a Girl's Life: How I Was Presented at Court, by La Petite (GOP 1897)
Social Events in a Girl's Life: The Easter Banquet at the Mansion House, by La Petite (GOP 1897)
Social Events in a Girl's Life: My First Royal Garden-Party, by La Petite (GOP 1897)
Social Events in a Girl's Life: A Jubilee Drawing-Room, by La Petite (GOP 1897)
Social Events in a Girl's Life: A Banquet at the Guildhall, by La Petite (GOP 1897)


About Mothers' Meetings, by Alice King (GOP 1882)
Another type of club designed to train women in domestic and spiritual matters - "We think that, in general, story books, with good religious teaching in them, suit best..."
Friends in Council: The Chiltern Club (GOP 1885)
"Its object is the discussion of various questions of interest - literary, social, philosophical, political...The fact that women in the mixed company express their thoughts is the only feature in this Society that has any claim to novelty... [In other clubs] as a rule I believe men only speak, while women, if allowed to be present, listen in silence."
The "Girls' Own" Club, by Dora Hope (GOP 1881)
On a club to help train girls in domestic and spiritual matters.
Girls' Own Societies, by Dora Hope (GOP 1880)
A variety of groups that a girl can form or join, including reading societies, needlework societies, essay clubs - even "early rising" societies for those who find it difficult to get up in the morning!
How to Start and Manage a Mother's Meeting, by E.H. Pitcairn (GOP 1898)
Tips on setting up "mothers' meetings" for the poorer women of a parish -- such a meeting generally includes some spiritual education, story reading, sewing instruction, and occasional "field trips."
The Ladies' Discussion Society (GOP 1884)
"The 'good old days' are fortunately growing more and more distant, when it was thought a waste of time for a girl who had 'finished her education' to have a book in her hand, and the cheap and vacant occupation of needlework formed the staple of all feminine existence."
Magazine and Book Clubs, and How to Manage Them, by Dora de Blaquière (GOP 1892)
Our Shakespeare Society (GOP 1885)
Our Travel Club, and How We Manage It (GOP 1900)
"We are supposed to...try to imagine we are a party going to travel in some foreign country," whereupon the various "committees" research routes, sights, art, culture, etc. and present the information to the club as a whole.
Women's Clubs in London, by S.F.A. Caulfield (GOP 1890)
"...we may observe the increase of improvident marriages and those of the physically unsuitable, the many failures of financial enterprises, the deterioration of the value of land... Thus the daughters of the very elite of the untitled aristocracy are driven from become the bread-earners for themselves and their families... an article like this demands such an introduction as showing the origin of the needs-be for women's clubs."


Carving at Table, by S.F.A. Caulfield (GOP 1883)
Cheap and Pretty (GOP 1890)
Creating a table decoration with carrot tops.
How to Lay the Breakfast and Luncheon Tables/Dinner Table, by Mary Pocock (GOP 1886)
Housekeeping in May (GOP 1900)
How to decorate the table, and prepare several dishes appropriate for spring.
How to Wait at Table (GOP 1887)
Serviettes, and How to Fold Them (GOP 1893)
Table Decorations (GOP 1887)

See also "Floral Decorations."
Copyright © 2018 by
Moira Allen.
All rights reserved.

Magazine Abbreviations:
CFM = Cassell's Family Magazine GOP = Girl's Own Paper ILA = Illustrated London Almanack S = The Strand
AM = Atlantic Monthly C = Century Magazine D = Demorest's Monthly Magazine G = Godey's Lady's Book H = Harper's Monthly
Find out more about the magazines used on this site!
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