Friday, 17 May 2013

Polite Reading Material

Following my recent adventures and new found interest in Private Household Management & etiquette training, I've been finally getting into reading books... real, actual BOOKS! 
Anybody that knows me, namely my family, will know I'm one of those people that reads a chapter, gets bored (or I should probably say, distracted!) and moves onto the next one. 

However, I have got the reading bug ever since the lovely William Hanson (who I co-host events with such as "Dine Like Downton" back in March) mentioned a whole reading list of books, I've been clicking away on Amazon and switching the TV off to get down with some research. 
I have to say.. I am loving it too, I've been reading in the evening before bed, educating myself and making myself chuckle, talk & even gasp out loud... much to the confusion of the pup sitting on my lap as I go!  

So, should you want to learn a little about traditional and/or modern etiquette, here is some bedtime reading suggestions for you too, some of which I have already read & enjoyed, some still to read over the coming weeks:

Debrett's New Guide To Etiquette & Modern Manners
By John Morgan 

As it says on the front cover, it's "The Indispensable Handbook"  for anybody who wants to know how to get ahead with good manners, most of which are common sense and very interesting indeed. The cover topics such as personal relationships, entertainment, how to behave in public (and private), rites of passage (birth, baptisms, engagements & weddings), the written word (writing your thank you letters is very important in this day and age!), royal & formal etiquette as well as more modern "netiquette", phones, faxes etc. 

Debrett's Etiquette for Girls
By Fleur Britten

Billed on the back cover as "the ultimate girls' guide to getting it right". 
It's a controversial one and a title that the more traditional etiquette enthusiasts get a little hot under the collar about for some very obvious reasons. Naturally, the rebel in me wanted to read it, so it has to go on my reading list out of intrigue, more than anything.  It covers topics such as : New rules in a modern life - for every girl about town, flirting, one night stands (Yup, really there is etiquette for this it seems!), breaking up, getting ahead at work, what to wear, even festival, polo and private jet etiquette - a girl can dream!  

Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management 
By Isabella Beeton 

Originally published in 1861, she documented an otherwise undocumented social 
run down offering her unique view on manners and life in the everyday Victorian household.
The cookery section was large to say the least and is still used to this day. She was the first to give precise measurements and cooking times, she truly was the first domestic goddess! 
She was also the eldest of 21 children!!! Married at 19 to magazine publisher where she contributed as a columnist on cookery & fashion and they had sold 60,000 copies within the first year. She sadly died at just 29 ( following the birth of her fourth child) - what a woman!  

Simply Wonderwoman
By Joanna Gosling

After my training with Barbara Allred within the household management course, I fell in love with all the little tips & tricks she taught us from cleaning to setting up a guest bedroom, through to packing a suitcase for our household. This book is a modern take on making life simple, a little like Mrs Beeton, but I imagine her to wear superman-style "pants of power"! 
It's titled "a survival guide for women with too much to do" - well that's me through & through. 
It shows you how to entertain stress-free, how to be empowered by DIY (who needs men?!),  how to look stylish with zero skill (erm yes please!) and even how to make the most of your free time with children. 
It even shows you how to make homemade gift ideas (who knew jars have a million uses!)

** Coming Soon ** 
'The Bluffer's Guide to Etiquette... for the Socially Less Fortunate'.
By William Hanson 

So, talking of the man himself, my lovely friend, Mr Hanson, is currently penning his own book on etiquette for socially less fortunate - that's me then ; ) 
This is so exciting and will be one to look out for, I know I will be one of the first buyers myself. 
William says: The Middletons are the modern Hyacinth Buckets (although Kate & Pippa are more successful than dear old Mrs B ever was.) Knowing what to do in every social situation has never been more vital. If Kate can become a Duchess, then almost anyone can rise through the social ranks and become a wife of a Baronet, at the very least.
The book will be the guide for social climbing and will teach bluffers how not to put a foot wrong when conversing, dining, socialising and marrying those in the know.

Happy reading book worms!

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