The Bluffer's Guide to Etiquette (Bluffer's Guides) (Anglais) Broché – 15 janvier 2014
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My Let s Do Lunch colleague William Hanson has created and written the perfect gift for those interested in polishing up on their manners and learning to behave properly. --Melanie Sykes, TV Presenter
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
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.)
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.
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.
Now that I've vented my disgruntlement and hopefully pointed out something that the editors can sort, if you are bored, glum, interested in the subject - or even find it silly - this book is not only informative, it is full of of the author's understated, dry wit. It's hilarious and will cheer the darkest of moods and the dullest day.
There are some very useful tips that will help the reader become more confident and less awkward at business and social occasions. It's a goldmine of advice. And thank you to the author for validating the correct pronunciation of 'scone', the incorrect use of which (sk-oh-an) by some acquaintances and serving people has been a constant and continuing irritant.
Buy the book. You won't regret it. If I weren't a lady I'd have guffawed several times.