Sunday, July 10, 2016

A Good Article: The Charm of the Curtsey

"A young Englishwoman of title visited this country recently she expressed astonishment at the ignorance of the art of formal social behavior which American girls displayed. They did not know how to bow correctly, the curtsey seemed to have become an obsolete social form here; they had not learned the graceful way to proceed down the length of a receiving line, and there were countless other social manners and customs, held in high esteem by foreigners, which seemed to have been neglected in the early training of American girls, she said.

Then it happened that teachers of social decorum began to consider how to improve the girls’ social bearing, and in looking over the field they decided that a touch of quaintness and old fashioned forms would be both charming and suitable. So the curtsey was introduced, and now it is one of the first lessons in etiquette taught the schoolgirl..."

Continue reading here.


  1. This is a great article. I remember in my Catholic grade school in Connecticut in the early to mid 1990s that the girls were still taught to curtsey (and the boys to bow and shake hands properly). The very last of the nuns were still teaching there and they still had a remnant of the old school.

    An important observation about the curtsey is that a woman or girl cannot curtsey unless she is wearing a dress. A woman curtseying in pants makes is almost laughable.

    1. You were fortunate to have etiquette taught in the 90's! Oh my goodness I didn't even consider needing a skirt to curtsey, sad for modern women.


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