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Books included in a Gentleman's Library
Debrett's People of Today 2003
"This contains all my friends and acquaintances and the addresses to which to write."
Whitaker's Almanack 2003: 135th Annual Edition. Standard Edition
"As well as being a general sea of information, it contains a list of closer friends (the peerage) though no addresses."
Debrett's New Guide to Etiquette and Modern Manners
"Explains how a gentleman must behave. Gives a concise list of correct form too."
The English Gentleman (Prion Humour Classics)
"Although meant as a parody, a true gentleman must follow this strictly."
The English Gentleman Abroad
"The same idea for our luxurious holidays. (The antiquated advertisements suggest gentlemanly institutions to frequent.)"
Noblesse Oblige (Oxford Language Classics)
"A study of my species. One can only laugh at the analysis of the non-U. (Do such people exist?)"
The Oxford Compendium of English (3 volume set): Oxford Language Reference, Oxford Quotations & Proverbs, Oxford Dictionary & Thesaurus: "Oxford ... Proverbs", "Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus".
"Just one of those things that everyone must have (normally to prove other people wrong)."
Fowler's Modern English Usage (3rd Revised Edition)
"As a member of the Queen's English Society, a gentleman must preserve correct usage and scorn those that do not."
The King's English
"Amis's version is a little wittier, but gives more insight too into the true workings of a toff."
BBC Pronouncing Dictionary of British Names
"There should be no embarrassment to pronounce words in true RP, in the old BBC manner. (This must be bought second hand, preferably signed.)"
"This is a good abridgement of all the noted usage guides. It is always good to have secondary evidence (id est, with Fowler's)."
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
"Another must-have. Highly interesting and useful. All those little things that everyone wants to know. Impress your friends at the club!"
The Superior Person's Book of Words
"These words must be learnt from memory and used as often as possible, for the sake of confusing inferiors (milkmen, postmen and the like)."
Cassell's Standard Latin Dictionary: Latin/English, English/Latin
"A gentleman will have a good grasp of Latin, but may need a dictionary in order to include pithy latin phrases within the context of a pretentious letter."
Vox Latina: A Guide to the Pronunciation of Classical Latin
"Reading Latin is most important, and this books shows how to do that in the most academic way. Horace's Odes should be memorised and declaimed daily."
Collins Robert French Dictionary
"Of course, we gentlemen are fluent in the internationally aristocratic tongue. But we must keep in touch with the modern lingo. (A German Dictionary is needed too, in case they invade again.)"
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language
"This interests me greatly. Language is such a civilised invention."
The Oxford Companion to English Literature
"A gentleman has studied and read much of his country's finest books. This book should, however, brush up his memory."
Collins Classics - The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: The Alexander Text
"Just for show really and for use in the crossword (The Times of course). A more decorative separate version of each of the plays should also appear on the bookshelf."
The Norton Anthology of Poetry
"The same idea for poetry. Perhaps it would be good to cite examples randomly to your wife at breakfast."
Book of Ties
"I have memorised these so that I can recognise rivals and strike up conversation easily."
A Well-dressed Gentleman's Pocket Guide
"It is important to look like a true gentleman. This gives good tips on how to do this."
"Times" Restaurant Guide 2002
"Which restaurant to frequent and not to frequent. Also lists some good clubs. (The Garrick and White's should be joined immediately.)"
The World Atlas of Wine
"Which wines to choose at the above restaurant. A bottle should be consumed per day, hence developing genuine conoisseurship (sic)."
Passing Time in the Loo Volume 1
"This is a brilliant book to be kept in one of the loos (not WCs or toilets) - probably the guest one."
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