Past Featured Title


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Featured Title:

"From the Ballroom to Hell: Grace and Folly in Nineteenth-Century Dance"


by Elizabeth Aldrich

Northwestern University Press, 1991

Paperback Edition


$24.95 (Check for discount amount)*

Table of Contents

  ix List of Illustrations

  xi List of Musical Examples

 xiii Foreward

xvii Preface

 xix Acknowledgments

Introduction: The Ballroom as Mirror of a Changing Society in Nineteenth-Century America

I.  Dancing, The Most Enchanting of Human   Amusements

Part 1  The Utility of dancing

Part 2  Acquiring the Steps


II. Thoughts on Society

Part 1  The Spirit of Social Observances

Part 2  The Importance of Etiquette, or Mischievous Tendencies Corrected

Part 3  Addressed to Women

Part 4  The Supper Table

Part 5  Tobacco, Spitting and Other Violations of Decency


III. Fashion

Part 1  The Fashionable Lady

Part 2  The Properly Attired Gentleman

Part 3  The Evils of Tight Lacing

Part 4  Potatoes, Gin and Other Concoctions for Cleaning


IV. The Body: Detractions from and Complements Thereto

Part 1  The Vulgarity of a Foul Mouth and Unclean Hands

Part 2  Rouge, Paints, Hair and General Maxims for Health




V. The Body: Composed and Harmonious

Part 1  Deportment, Grace of Carriage, and the Shrug

Part 2  Walking

Part 3  Bows and Curtseys

Part 4  Conversation and Flirtation


VI. Grace and Folly in the Ballroom

Part 1  Hazards and Blunders of Ballroom Etiquette

Part 2  Arrangements for the Ball

Part 3  The Ballroom: Public and Private


VII. Music and Musicians

Part 1  Singing and Other Diversions

Part 2  Music at the Ball

Part 3  The Manner of Playing the Tunes


VIII. Dances and Party Games

Part 1  The Minuet and Diverse--Group Dances

Part 2  About Waltzing and Other Round Dances

Part 3  Party Games: The German Cotillion




Select Bibliography


Annotated Bibliography





SYNOPSIS: Ballroom etiquette was a microcosm of etiquette in the society at large.  This book collects over one-hundred excerpts from dance, etiquette, beauty, and fashion manuals from 1800-1890 to summarize how ballroom etiquette crystallized every aspect of one's social attainments.  Learn step-by-step instructions for various dances, the place of dance in society, as well as a discussion of the changing social roles of men and women in nineteenth-century America.


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