The Family Guide on How to Be A Gentleman


In Aunt Hetty's Ordeal, Miss King is alarmed by Gus Pike's ruffian behavior and strives to teach him proper manners. She lends him a book "How to Be A Gentleman" that demonstrates how to dress properly, comb your hair, greet people in public, and most importantly--how to hold your pinky finger in the air!  The following Family Guide style excerpts demonstrate manners and etiquette for the Edwardian gentleman.


A gentleman faultlessly gloved cannot go far wrong.
Social Etiquette
Maud C. Cooke, 18-

A man who is badly dressed, feels chilly, sweaty, and prickly.  He stammers, and does not always tell the truth.  He means to, perhaps, but he can’t.       
Search Light on Health
Prof. B.G. Jefferis and J.L. Nichols, 1896

A man with a trivial nose should not wear a large moustache.  Doing so will increase the insignificance of his insignificant nose… Sometimes the end of a man’s moustache are visible to persons walking behind him.  This imparts to him a belligerent, aggressive air, that makes small children refrain from asking him the time, and saves him from being asked the way by puzzled pedestrians.
Etiquette for Every Day
Mrs. Humphry, 1904

A gentleman should never attempt to step over a lady’s train; he should go around it.
As Others See Us
Anonymous, 1890

If a gentleman is walking with two ladies in a rain storm, and there is but one umbrella, he should give it to his companions and walk outside.  Nothing can be more absurd than to see a gentleman walking between two ladies holding an umbrella which perfectly protects himself, but half deluges his companions with its dripping streams.
Our Deportment
Compiled by John H. Young, 1881

If a lady and gentleman are walking arm in arm, they should keep step. The gentleman must adapt his long stride to her shorter steps, else they have a curious appearance.
Polite Society At Home and Abroad
Mrs. Annie R. White, 1891

To look back at one who has passed, even if she has on a new dress which does not fit in the back, is not polite.
The Manners That Win
Anonymous, 1880

gentleman sm1

A gentleman will not stand on the street corners, or in hotel doorways, or club windows, and gaze impertinently at ladies as they pass by.  This is the exclusive business of loafers, upon which well-bred men will not trespass.
-Social Etiquette, or: Manners and Customs of Polite Society, By Maud C. Cooke, 1896

A gentleman visitor who neither shoots, fishes, boats, reads, writes letters, nor does anything but hang about, letting himself be ‘amused,’ is an intolerable nuisance.  He had better go to the billiard room and practice caroms by himself; or retire to the stables and smoke.
Manners and Social Usages
Mrs. John Sherwood, 1897

On the road, the constant care of the gentleman should be to render the ride agreeable to his companion, by the pointing out of objects of interest with which she may not be acquainted, the reference to any peculiar beauty of landscape which may have escaped her notice, and a general lively tone of conversation, which will, if she be timid, draw her mind from the fancied dangers of horseback riding, and render her excursion much more agreeable than if she be left to imaging horrors whenever her horse may prick up his ears or whisk his tail.
The Gentlemen’s Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness
Cecily B. Hartley, 1860

No gentleman is guilty of smoking when walking or riding with a lady.  It leaves the impression with others that she is of secondary importance to his cigar.
Polite Society At Home and Abroad
Mrs. Annie R. White, 1891

A man, … whether he aspires to be a gentleman or not, should learn to box. There are but few rules… , strike out, strike straight, strike sudden. Two gentlemen never fight; the art of boxing is brought into use in punishing a stronger and more impudent fellow of a class beneath your own.
~ The Habits of Good Society (1859)

The power to deliver a good scientific blow may be of inestimable value under certain extreme circumstances…” for a “man may come upon some ruffian insulting a woman in the streets; and in such cases a blow settles the matter.”  “Never assail an offender with words, nor when you strike him, use such expressions as, ‘Take that.’  
The Habits of Good Society, 1859

Gentleman unaccustomed to the management of a boat should never venture out with ladies.  To do so is foolhardy, if not criminal...  Men who cannot swim should never take ladies upon the water.
-Social Etiquette, or: Manners and Customs of Polite Society, By Maud C. Cooke, 1896

Great care must be taken not to splash the ladies, either in the first dipping the oars or subsequently.  Neither should anything be done to cause them fright.
-Social Etiquette, or: Manners and Customs of Polite Society, By Maud C. Cooke, 1896

Top 10 Road to Avonlea Hoaxes

Top 10 Road to Avonlea Hoaxes

A hoax is described as a humorous or malicious deception, often synonymous with a practical joke, trick or prank.  The series Road to Avonlea has it's share of hoaxes and pranks played on our unwitting villagers.  I was surprised with the sheer number of hoaxes and it was somewhat tough to narrow it down to the top ten.  So without further ado, the following list details the top 10 hoaxes from the series.

10. The Love Potion

Sara and Felix attempt to prevent Edwin Clark's plans to marry Olivia by seeking the help of Peg Bowen. The witch of Avonlea concocts a love potion that will force Olivia to become betrothed to the first unmarried man she sees. Their plan fails however, when Olivia drinks the potion and greets Felix at the door of Rose Cottage, rather than Jasper.

9. Mermaids are real?

Snibb's World Renowned Traveling Midway arrives in Avonlea and Davey is entranced by the mysterious Melusina, who claims to be a mermaid.  The woman is really named Trissy and she cons Donny Lester into giving her money.  It doesn't take long before Donny and Davey realize they have been conned.  When Hetty and Rachel find out, they are inexplicably shocked to find that the carnival is out to get their money! Irate townspeople storm the midway and Snibb is arrested.    

8. Magic seeds

Sara Stanley and Andrew King receive a rude welcome to Avonlea when their cousins send the duo plummeting through a trap door into a muddy pig stall.  The visiting cousins plan their revenge by giving Felix and Felicity magic seeds with the promise that if they wish upon them at night, their dreams will come true.  The seeds, of course, are a hoax that make the scheming Felix and Felicity look foolish.      

7. Davey is duped again

When Clive and Muriel announce their wedding, Davey and his friends plan to raise money to buy the couple a present. The troublesome Davey meets two ruffians, Hawk and Quint, who tricks the gullible boy into leaving money at the cemetery, promising that the profit will double the following day.  The foolish friends return the next day and find that the money is gone! Dora rushes to Davey's rescue and devises a plan to retrieve the money from the thieves.  

6. Marilla had a Beau

Marilla Cuthbert fabricates a beau named Duncan McTavish after village gossips pry into her romantic life. The consequence of Marilla's white lie results in disaster as the real Duncan McTavish arrives in Avonlea, which raises the suspicion of her long time friend Rachel Lynde.

5. The Sea Ghost Rises... Again

Cantankerous lighthouse keeper Ezekiel Crane recruits Gus Pike to help him pursue an elusive treasure.  The treasure hunt ends in a sea cave where Crane's rival, Captain Borden, plunges Crane into the depths and believes that he has the legendary treasure. To Gus's surprise, Crane faked his death and escaped with the real treasure, leaving Borden with an empty chest.

4. The End of the World

History is full of prophesies declaring that the world will end.  As a lunar eclipse approaches in the episode Vows of Silence, Felicity believes that judgement day is at hand and is encouraged to confess past wrongs.

3. Actor impersonates school teacher

Hetty resigns as school teacher after being criticized for pushing her students too hard for an upcoming history bee. An eccentric actor, Alistair Dimple, replaces Hetty and teaches the children through a method of play-acting and theatrics.  As the competition approaches, Alec discovers that Dimple was a total fraud without teaching credentials.

There have been many other imposters in Avonlea, including Jo Pitts as Sara Stanley, Simon Tremayne as a bellhop, Doyle E. Reichenback, various imposters from Zak Morgan's wild west show and even Sara Stanley as the long lost daughter of Callamity Jane!

2. Blair Stanley returns from the dead

Sara Stanley goes to a carnival where she encounters a fortune teller, Isis, who promises to reunite the Story Girl with her recently deceased father.  A seance is staged where Isis and her accomplice, Leo, pretend to evoke the spirit of Blair Stanley. When Sara discovers this elaborate hoax, she is kidnapped by the duo and held for ransom.  Alec heroically rides to Sara's rescue and the malicious con artists are sent to prison.

1. Felicity was switched At Birth

Sara and Felix devise a scheme, writing a letter stating that Felicity was switched at birth with Sally Potts. The hoax sends Felicity into an identity crisis and causes an uproar between the King and Potts families.  A panic ensues, which causes Janet King and Clara Potts to redefine their perspectives of motherhood.

Sign Up