Top positive review
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From cradle to grave
on 23 January 2014
This neat little book by William Hanson and published in the Bluffer's Guide series runs to around 110 pages.
Although it is written in a humorous style I think this book could be quite useful when, in our largely informal world, formality is suddenly called for. The contents of the Guide are as follows; To the Manners Born; How Do You Don't; Dinner Party Decorum; Spaghettiquette (The Proper Way to Eat); Don't wear Brown in Town; Twittiquette; Etiquette when Hatched; Etiquette when Matched; Etiquette when Despatched; Fillies, Flowers and Flotillas (The Season); Corgi Courtesy (A Royal Audience)and a Glossary. As you can see, the book aims to cover all aspects of etiquette effectively from cradle to grave.
Although the style is light hearted there is plenty of genuinely useful advice, for example, how to eat awkward foods or the components of morning dress. One occasion I did think this book would have been very useful for was going to a Royal Garden Party - most people will only go once in their lifetime to such an event which adheres to traditional etiquette captured in this book. The section on "e-etiquette" (Twittiquette) gives the book a more contemporary feel than it might otherwise have had. However, like many of the chapters, it's not that the advice is perfectly practical or contemporary, more that the text raises issues that you are likely to have to confront, and, therefore the book helps you to be forearmed.
In summary, this book covers a potentially serious subject which may only rear its head from time to time in a lot of people's lives, but it's ideal for those occasions when it does. Recommended.