A History of Courtship
by Tania ODonnell
ebook: 176 pages
Publisher: Pen and Sword History
Released: Jan. 27, 2017
Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Tania O’Donnell takes the reader on a journey from medieval Courtly Love, through to the sexual license of the Restoration, and Victorian propriety. Learn about courting, writing romantic love letters and poems, appropriate gifts, proposing, and more. In the 14th century young men tried to impress the ladies with their footwear, donning shoes with pointed toes so long that they had to be secured with whalebone—presumably because size mattered! The author also recounts tales of classic romantic mistakes and scandals.
A History of Courtship is a survey of courtship practices--mainly from the 1300s to the 1800s in England. The author described how couples met, beauty and clothing fads, acceptable gifts, improper behavior, the role of chaperons, love poems and letters, and areas of conflict after marriage. She also looked at the differences in practices between the rich and the poor. She described some scandals and other unusual stories to illustrate various behaviors. The material came from sources like diaries, guides on things like etiquette or letter writing, and preserved love poems and letters.
Keep in mind that this book isn't meant to be an exhaustive source on courtship, and the subtitle is a bit misleading. It's not about seduction techniques, and she didn't really cover 800 years. Most of the information was from the 1500s to late 1800s. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting and entertaining book.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.