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I am a wife and mother that is passionate about sharing content that helps us each live a beautiful and virtuous life. As an etiquette instructor, I love to seek out the beautiful things that surround us. You can often find me making a meal with my husband, building LEGOs with my son, and reading a good book - all in a beautiful dress! Thank you for being a part of this community, I am so happy you are here!

Hello, I’m Claire!


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Insights on Literature, etiquette, and Beauty from a Catholic wife and mom

Morals and Manners

Jane Austen’s novels (think Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Sense and Sensibility) are filled to the brim with moral lessons. Not only are they beautiful stories, they are books overflowing with wisdom on what to do and what not to do, especially in relationships with others, as well as how to grow in personal virtue. I love, too, that she clearly shows the consequence of actions – both right and wrong.

Whenever I read a book, I’m always on the lookout for lessons in etiquette as well. Though written many years ago, Jane Austen’s novels contain timeless etiquette lessons that can be applied to us today. When Austen shares these lessons in etiquette, she does something that I am particularly passionate about: she shows the deep connection between etiquette and virtue.

3 Timeless Etiquette Lessons

Here are three of my favorite etiquette lessons found in Jane Austen’s novels:

  1. House Guest Etiquette
    In Northanger Abbey, the main character, Catherine Morland is invited by her friends, one of them her love interest, to spend time in their home: an old Abbey. Convinced that something sinister is happening (due to her imagination running wild with a book she’s reading), she begins snooping around the house. Austen does an incredible job writing how uncomfortable it is when she is caught – I cringe reading the scene. Etiquette Lesson: if you are invited over to someone’s home, let them give the house tour.
  2. Matchmaking Etiquette
    In her book Emma, the main character loves to play matchmaker. Yet she gets it all wrong: she dissuades her friend not to accept a true love proposal and the man she suggests instead, ends up falling in love with Emma herself. It quickly becomes a messy situation and jeopardizes her friendship. Though it all works out in the end – a lot of heartache could have been avoided. Etiquette Lesson: When setting up a friend for a date: instead of projecting what you find attractive, truly listen to what they desire in a relationship, and know when to step aside. 
  3. Make A Personal Connection
    This third etiquette lesson can be found in some way in all of Jane Austen’s novels: don’t assume other people’s character based on what you’ve heard from other people, or their status, or their position. Take time to personally get to know people instead of listening to hearsay about them. Simply, give others the benefit of the doubt and give them a chance. You may end up very surprised – or even end up with the love of your life.

Have you read any of Jane Austen’s books? Which one is your favorite? What etiquette lessons from her novels would you add to this list?

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