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The Bluffer's Guide to Etiquette [Format Kindle]

William Hanson

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Présentation de l'éditeur

Instantly acquire all the knowledge you need to pass as an expert in the world of etiquette and high society. Know what to say, what not to say, where to be seen, and what and what not to wear. Never again be found wanting when asked if someone is PLU or NQOCD, why port should be passed to the left, or how many air kisses you should aim at the proffered cheek of someone you barely know. Arm yourself with the essential words or phrases which have entered the etiquette lexicon from pre-revolutionary France, and know not to mix up your droit de seigneur with your noblesse oblige. Bask in the admiration of your aristocratic hosts as you enquire politely about the place a table, pronounce confidently on whether the going is heavy or soft, and hold your own against the most sneering of posturing parvenus.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.4 étoiles sur 5  13 commentaires
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A humorous attempt to educate "the rest of us" in proper behaviour... 5 février 2014
Par Angela Reads - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
This book is written from the British point of view, as a humorous attempt to educate the rest of us how to (attempt to) fit in the upper social circles of society - think of Kate Middleton's family, for instance.

While I don't expect to ever mingle in high society, I am always interested in understanding good manners and proper social customs - and why those things are proper, or why not. I enjoyed the chapters on greetings and various styles of dress for different occasions, what type of dinnerware to use, etc.

There's a lot of dry humor here too, I had a few laughs at certain examples of bad taste. Americans like myself need to be prepared for a few wisecracks at our expense, but it is all done in fun.

I enjoyed this short book and I feel that it helped me to better understand proper English culture. As an avid reader who loves literature written in England, I think it will enhance my understanding of what I read as well.

(I received this book as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.)
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An excellent resource for writers 14 mai 2014
Par Victoria Craven - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
This is an excellent resource both for people raised by wolves (like myself) and for writers who’d like to accurately portray the aristocratic class of Britain or people trying to fit into the aristocratic class and making faux pas after faux pas. [If a writer is looking for a novel that handles this situation well, check out Julian Fellowes Snobs. He’s the creator of Downton Abbey, which gets its fair share of mentions in the etiquette guide.]

Dryly hilarious (though of course one would never guffaw in public), every page is packed with information involving proper dress for every occasion for both sexes, correct terminology for everything, how to phrase wedding, birth and death announcements, as well as responding to wedding invitations and even invitations from Buckingham Palace.

Speaking of the Palace—there are some great bits of information about the Royal Family (never ‘The Royals’ as it sounds like a sitcom) and some of the missteps the Middletons made/make, as well as general life, for Royal watchers.

An extremely useful portion was instructions on how to eat certain foods like bananas. How would you eat a banana in front of Her Majesty? Hint: you don’t use your hands and it involves a knife and fork.

Then there’s the section on The Season, which encompasses the Chelsea Flower Show and that horse race and a whole load of other events that sound like the most dull things to befall mankind.

However, I’d happily attend every mind-numbing society event (since you’re supposed to act as though you’re bored anyway my sincere boredom would go unnoticed) if it meant I never had to attend another hen night/bachelorette party or listen to another woman talk about being pregnant as though she were the only person in history to procreate.

You see, the further up the social scale you go (this applies in both the US and UK) the less emotion you’re to show about anything important. Upon being told the entire west wing of the house is aflame the correct response would be, ‘That’s inconvenient.’ But you’re allowed to be distraught over inconsequential things. ‘I’m gasping for a cup of tea.’ ‘When was your last one?’ ‘Oh ages, ago. Half an hour at least.’ ‘Good god, man, why didn’t you say so?!’

The anthropologist Kate Fox’s wonderful Watching the English (also an indispensable book for the writer) covers similar ground, but Hanson comes at things from a slightly different but much more hysterical angle.

I loved it and highly recommend it.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Getting Ahead Without Being Trying 17 janvier 2014
Par David Whelan - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
Mr. Hanson's guide to etiquette provides a clever look at the language and rituals of the upper crust. Like other Bluffer's Guides, it is a witty but otherwise earnest summary of tips to enable the reader to appear more knowledgeable. If you intend, Pygmalion-like, to use this guide to infiltrate the upper classes, you'll find everything you need to get started. Chapters on etiquette for when Hatched, Matched, and Dispatched are among the many that will outline what to do and, perhaps more importantly, specifically what not to do.

As someone who is never likely to move in those circles or need to bluff around them, I still found it educational. Whether you need the chapters on table etiquette (which fork do you use for what, why spoon and fork aren't above the plate, why you should rip the bread and not slice and butter it) for business purposes or to improve your children, both the instruction and Hanson's explanations for "why" were interesting. He also discusses a number of items that have been imported and adopted or were Victorian leftovers. Americans tend to get the blame even when they're not specifically known to have been the source of things that wouldn't be considered appropriate (like having "treacly sentiments" and always having "nice days"). But it's all in good fun. Now, when I'm being gauche, at least I'll know why and who to blame it on.

It would be unfair to fail to comment on the humor Hanson brings to the book. It's a quick read but it was rarely more than a few pages between laughing out loud. My favorites were the bits on birth announcements and asking for cash at weddings. The light-hearted approach made the etiquette itself more memorable, as you could visualize what not to do.

For social climbers and those who wish to marry up, this is a must. But this book is perfect for people entering a profession or business world who will need to learn to eat and speak properly. I think Downton Abbey watchers would also appreciate both the details and the wit of this book, and Americans in particular would find that it explains what otherwise seems to be rather peculiar behavior.

[Review Copy]
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A comical look at a world I'll never see 12 février 2014
Par J. Vitous - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
Etiquette is often used as comic foil in the movies. The notion that there is strict code of social conduct observed by the cultural elite seems silly to the uncouth masses. Just how did such a thing come to pass? Partly it arose from more dangerous times; in the Middle Ages, hidden daggers were often a danger and some of these routines came about as a way to prove one is harmless. Mostly though, it's years of people having little else to do with their lives but obsess about such details as the color of (or even existence of) a hidden belt.

The Bluffer's Guides are British publications, and tend to focus on to get by in the UK. Much of what Hanson refers to as "American inventions" translate into unforgivable faux pas in British high society, particularly in the presence of Royals (don't call them "Royals.")

This is a very funny book to read, I imagine doubly so for a Brit, but as an uncouth American, I take perverse pride in my wanton violation of much of this book. I suppose this means I won't be invited to tea at Buckingham Palace, but if ever I were, I'd probably bring a six pack of my favorite beer. I don't often mingle with high society, and admittedly would be deemed pretty offensive among them . To follow the tenets of this book would lead me to punch myself. Maybe that's why I spend so little time among them -- courting favor of the platinum spoon set just isn't something I do. Bring them down to my level? You bet. A friend of mine and myself used to regularly attend the opera with the stated goal of making the experience a little less proper for most of those in attendance. This was often done not only via casual dress, but discussion between the acts transposing the opera we were seeing into a version acted out by The Three Stooges.

The Bluffer's Guide to Etiquette is an entertaining look on how the top 0.001% live. If you presume to partake in this rarified air, then there is certainly something to be learned here (to bluff ones way through, anyway...for staying power, take one of those silly classes often mocked in the movies). The author, however, makes an assumption that the reader understands the importance of these societal conventions, and actually apologies to readers who don't have the British royal family to hold in esteem. A chapter as to why some of this should matter to the rest of us might make a nice addition to later editions.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Humorous & Insightful Etiquette Guide 4 mars 2015
Par Sharon Schweitzer - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
William Hanson is Britain’s youngest and wittiest etiquette expert. In Bluffer’s Guide to Etiquette, he covers everything from chauffeuring VIPs to the class system, and fashion to faux pas. This highly entertaining glimpse into British high society will leave you wanting more, especially if you are from another culture. The author’s dry sense of humor punctuates each chapter, and is a “must read” for any Anglophile.
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