In this most uncivilized age, it can be difficult for a gentleman to remain as such without a practical guide. This book has been a favorite of mine for years. In fact, I’ve had it so long there is a newer edition out. Since I’ve not added that to my collection, let’s just have a look at this one, shall we?
First, do not be intimidated by the title. This “Contemporary Guide to Common Courtesy” has daily implications for those wanting a more civilized existence with their fellow humans. With that being said, there are quips in here that would likely get a proper gentleman through most situations. It is interesting reading, even for those of us unlikely to need a dinner jacket soon.
Here are some Chapter Title samples to give you a flavor:
A Gentleman Goes to Dinner
A Gentleman and his Friends
A Gentleman Goes to the Office
I would not say the guide is exhaustive, however it should lay a nice foundation for anyone interested in the subject.
It is a light and pleasant read. Each chapter contains only short paragraphs such as these:
“At a party a gentleman never spends all of his time talking to one person. He is always excited to meet as many people as possible and he assumes that a great many people will enjoy meeting him too.”
“A gentleman always offers to share his umbrella.”
” A gentleman learns the names of receptionists, administrative assistants and secretaries where he makes frequent calls. He thanks them for their assistance as often as possible.”
“A gentleman is perfectly willing to accept “No.” for an answer – the first time he hears it.”
“In the morning, a gentleman always offers to get up and make the coffee.”
In addition to these delightful bits, there are small chapters regarding which linens to keep on hand, minimal glassware requirements, etc.
In short, it is a wonderful read, full of insight and inspiration for living today – through the lens of years gone by.