marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Hill's Manual of Social and Business Forms

Hill's Manual of Social and Business Forms by Thomas E. Hill

A 19th-century book full of advice very little of which you want to take. For instance, the form of writing an address on an envelope has entirely changed. . . which is where the interest lies.

All sorts of glimpses of society of the era in the oddest forms. Opens with a discussion of penmanship, including directions on how run a penmanship class. Ends with selections of poetry. In between offers a lot of sample letters, tables of reference for weights, lists of American Civil War battles, and even more random things.

And you learn that the young man depicted with poor posture while writing will die young, probably of consumption; notice that the letters of references are all favorable for servants with Anglo-American names, but the unfavorable one is for an Irishwoman; and be told of the vast importance of children learning that it is the universal law of nature that things progress from lower to higher.
Tags: primary source review

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