Rules for a Young Lady

Gentle Reader,

Lady Emeline Gordon, the heroine of my book, To Taste Temptation, is an acknowledged expert at guiding young ladies safely through the labyrinth of London high society. So when the notorious and notoriously wealthy American merchant, Mr. Samuel Hartley, needs a chaperone for his younger sister, naturally he arranges for an introduction to the lovely, widowed Lady Emeline. Well . . . at least her social expertise is the reason Sam gives for asking for an introduction to Lady Emeline. In any case, whilst researching the book, I examined closely Lady Emeline’s own handwritten papers. Amongst them I found the following artifact, which I hope will be of interest to you, my Gentle Reader.

Yours Most Sincerely, Elizabeth


Some Rules for a Young Lady wishing to Sail the Turbulent Waters of High Society without Wrecking her Vessel against the Rocks of Misfortune

1) A Young Lady’s costume is of the utmost importance. Her gown, hat, gloves, fichu, and shoes—especially shoes—should show Good Taste but not Excessive Taste.

2) A lady should never talk to a gentleman not introduced to her. Some men—I will not call them gentlemen—will attempt to circumvent this rule. A Young Lady must not let them.

3) The kind of Male Rogue mentioned above is, in fact, best handled by a Lady of Mature Years and Quick Wit.

4) A Young Lady may never let a gentleman who is not a relative embrace her. Note: Naturally this rule does not apply to Ladies of a Certain Age. 

5) If a lady of any age lets a gentleman embrace her, the lady should be certain that he is a Very Good Kisser Indeed. She may require several sessions to be entirely certain.

6) Beware of country house parties.

7) When at a country house party it is imperative that a Young Lady not become cloistered with a gentleman. People with too much imagination may think she is engaging in an Affaire de Coeur.

8) Affairs should only be conducted by Ladies of a Mature and Not Easily Heated disposition.

9) However, it is desirable that the gentleman in the above mentioned Affair become very heated indeed.

10) Whatever she does, a lady engaging in an affair must never, never fall in love with her paramour. That way lies disaster.