To let a lady go ahead of you when walking through the door is regarded as knightly. And rightly so: Originally the knights let the ladies go first through the door as a precaution measure: lurking in the dark or behind a door a lethal menace could be waiting – not so knightly after all...
It turns out that the early history of some of our most regarded etiquette is not quite what one might have expected and often for practical reasons: hat-tipping, for example, was considered far less contagious than to shake hands with other people.
Welcome rituals and facial expressions, table manners and drinking habits, small talk and signs between the sexes, building alliances or as a means of demarcation downwards – good manners always serve their purpose!
This shameless and amusing book takes the reader into a world that is fascinatingly new and awkwardly familiar at the same: the history behind European manners.
A wild ride through centuries of bad and good manners.
This book shines a light on the history of good manners – amusing, smart, exposing.
Südhessen Woche (Germany)
Ari Turunen is a Finnish Lic.Soc.Sc and has worked as the science editor for various organisations and media for 20 years. His books tell a lot on European and Western culture revealing in a hilarious way why we behave like we do. He has made lots of presentations and lectures on cultural history and world views at Finnish universities and for the Finnish Broadcasting Company.
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