The Rudiments of Genteel Behaviour: Facsimile Reprint of the Unique Edition of 1737

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9781903470107: The Rudiments of Genteel Behaviour: Facsimile Reprint of the Unique Edition of 1737
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Charmingly, this very rare book of 1737, reprinted in facsimile, provides delightful text and images explaining 'deportment'. The text is remarkably direct, precise and informative. Exactly how you should doff your hat and "retire gracefully from a room" and execute a curtsey are all explained both in theory and practice.
Seriously, there is a great deal here of interest for dancers and performers, students of all human behaviour, historians (obviously) of all kinds - of art, of society, of costume; this book gives a vivid insight into a lost world of elegance, only half-captured in modern costume drama. What it has to say about 'genteel behaviour' reveals a mentality profoundly different from our expectations.
Technically, this is a 'courtesy book', though, unusually, it inculcates manners with the morals that usually accompanied them. Its historical importance is known to specialists but it is exceedingly rare: only nine copies are known, only two of them, apart from the copy used for this facsimile edition, in public libraries. Nevertheless the book was beautifully and grandly printed and illustrated with engravings of high quality. The copy used for this edition was recently acquired for Gainsborough's House, Sudbury, Suffolk, and the price includes a donation to the museum and gallery at Gainsborough's House.

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