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He could not pay exclusive attention to any particular woman unless he was serious and wanted to pursue marriage, and he could not attend church with a woman regularly, give her costly presents, or be her constant escort unless he had serious intentions.
If he neglected “all others to [solely] devote himself to a single lady he [gave] that lady reason to suppose he [was] particularly attracted to her …
In the Regency era, for example, the advice was clear: looks matter but value them at the peril of your long-term happiness: “She, who, intoxicated with flattery, protracts the triumphs of her beauty in youth, may live to lament the barren spoils of it in age.” Indeed, throughout history, grooming and dressing as well as you possibly can has always been a better strategy than ruminating on what you don’t have.
Victorian women wore dresses cut just above the nipples, with pearl necklaces draped lasciviously in their décolletage, while some Edwardian men favoured wearing corsets and delighted in the sensation of tight lacing.
Nevertheless, the point of view from which Jane Austen describes England is that of a woman of the English gentry (albeit from its lower fringes), belonging to a reasonably well-off family, well connected and remarkably well educated for the time, and living in a very small village of rural England around the late 1790s or early 19th century.
Thus, some essential aspects of the Georgian era are virtually absent from her novels, such as the American Revolutionary War and the loss of the Thirteen Colonies, the French Revolution, the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and the birth of the British Empire.
In the 1930s, gay men and women would use the fan columns of movie magazines to drop hints about their sexuality by referencing Hollywood stars such as Bette Davis and Montgomery Clift.There's Samantha Lin, a bubbly twenty-something Ph D candidate whose thesis is about Shakespeare film adaptations.There's Jenny Tan, an auditor with a background in accounting.Certain etiquette and conduct was expected of an eighteenth or nineteenth century gentleman when courting.One etiquette book noted that “courting ought never to be done except with a view to marriage.” One nineteenth century gentleman maintained that “true courtship consists in a number of quiet, gentlemanly attentions, not so pointed as to alarm, not so vague as to be misunderstood.” This meant a gentleman had to walk a fine line.