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.
Victorian era dating and marriage
Women in the Victorian era - Wikipedia
Victorian Courtship. The Victorians romanticized love as well as tragedy. They revered courtship and love, despite their strict moral code and rules of etiquette. To gatherings, young women were chaperoned, usually by their mothers or some other married woman, to ensure nothing 'improper' occurred.
Women in the Victorian era
However the most accepted date as the start of the Victorian Age is , date of the First Reform Bill. This reform allowed the entrance of urban bourgeoisie or middle-class in the Parliament because the requirements for voting were simplified; there was an increasing number of population with the right. During this time of the Victorian Era, society was very moral and chaste, at least on the surface.
And for good reason — for centuries, strategically planned marriages allowed the wealthy and elite to retain their social standing, property and family businesses for generations. Marrying for love was pure fantasy and relegated to works of popular fiction. Respectable behavior and strict courtship rituals were the hallmarks of Victorian romance. Absolutely no physical contact was allowed until the couple became engaged, and gifts were limited to impersonal gestures like flowers, chocolate or a book. Emotional intimacy was expressed primarily through love letters.