The rules and suggestions for courtship and romance occupy most of the space in Victorian etiquette and letter writing books. There are usually flowery forms for written proposals from the suitor as well as a plethora of gushing acceptances from the bride-elect. Near the end of the section there is generally one curt letter of refusal to a marriage proposal. Usually the tone of the letter is vague and contains assurances that the honored lady thanks the gentleman for his offer but she cannot accept his proposal. The Victorian precept that a lady "never explains or complains" is followed rigidly. To readers today the index titles for these letters sound wildly humorous.
Saucy ‘Escort Cards’ Were a Way to Flirt in the Victorian Era
The Victorian period is also regarded as the era of Romanticism. In those days, courtship was considered to be a tradition and was very popular. Queen Victoria and her family were the idols of the Victorian society, even in the case of courtship. The society had laid down some stringent rules for courting and these had to be followed. The primary method of knowing prospective suitors were Balls and dances. Society would know young Victorian ladies through a ball or dance.
Wow, I found this very entertaining! I particularly liked the part about the language of the fan. I have heard of it before but not in such detail!
There was a lot of value placed on having proper etiquette regardless of whether you were lower or upper class. All people were held to a very high standard of requiring classy etiquette in their day to day lives. One of the biggest differences you may notice while walking down the street during the Victorian era would be how quiet it is. During this time, it was considered rude to speak loudly or in any way that might draw attention to yourself.