What Dating Was Like In the Victorian Era

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Dating in the Victorian era in America and in Britain meant navigating through a fog of modesty, prudence, ritual, corsets, top hats, calling cards, and your inner voice feverishly whispering etiquette book platitudes: “There is no propriety in voluntarily prolonging your ride, with a young gentleman, till after dark!” “Nothing can take the place of true genuine manhood!”

Etiquette books were all the rage at the time, advising men and women on Victorian courtship rituals and what it means to be a proper lady or manly gentleman.

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