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The burgeoning middle class, with its hunger for signs of upward mobility, gave birth to an entire genre of books on manners. Books like POLITE SOCIETY, AT HOME AND ABROAD, by Annie Randall White,
Kathryn Talks
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described in detail how best to present oneself to company and society at large, which, while important for men, was "much more essential for women." Lest they become a "blot upon nature," women, still unabashedly considered second-class citizens, could not participate in such common social rituals as handshaking and were advised, "if you feel sad or ill . . . do not go into company. You have no right to depress others."



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