"Avoid flattery. A delicate compliment is permissible in conversation, but flattery is broad, coarse, and to sensible people, disgusting. If you flatter your superiors, they will distrust you, thinking you have some selfish end; if you flatter ladies, they will despise you, thinking you have no other conversation." - 37 Conversation Rules for Gentlemen from 1875
On Tor.com, Mefi'sown Patrick Garcon (smoke) is writing lively essays on Victorian fantasy illustration, from the Pre-Raphaelites to Orientalism. [via mefi projects]
Platt Rogers Spencer was born in 1800 near the Hudson River. His family was too poor to afford paper so Spencer practiced on whatever was handy – leaves, bark, snow and sand – everything was a canvas for handwriting. [more inside]
In the 19th century, English author Favell Mortimer wrote several books describing various countries to children. Apparently she didn't travel much. [more inside]
Mind Your Manners! Put your knowledge of excruciatingly correct behavior to the test: "Adopt the role of a late 19th century character and try to earn your place in a world where every move is governed by the rules of etiquette." Certainly antiquated but amusing nonetheless.