“Keep up appearances whatever you do”

Charles Dickens in Martin Chuzzlewit, 1843

The Victorian era was a time of tremendous social and economic flux, the middle class, being able to consume goods felt they were the higher social plane, wishing to purchase appropriate manners and stylish clothing that differentiated them from farmers and workers. The rules of “polite society” prevailed, though, ironically they were based on the norms of the «obsolete” European aristocratic society.

“The true gentleman is one who has been fashioned after the highest models…his qualities depend not on fashion or manners but upon moral worth–not on personal possessions but upon personal qualities”

Happy Homes and the Hearts that Make Them, 1882

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